The Seattle Mariners have signed catcher Chris Iannetta to a one-year contract, they announced Monday night.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that Iannetta will make $4.25 million this season plus incentives. His deal also includes an option for 2017. GM Jerry Dipoto said in a conference call that the option could vest based on total games played this season.
Iannetta had reportedly been close to signing with the Mariners since for awhile, but nothing solidified until Monday.
MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reported that Iannetta left the door open for his former team, the Angels, to make one last run at re-signing him before committing to Seattle. They did not act upon it and "clearly moved on."
With Seattle having a multitude of issues at catcher last season, it only made sense that they went out and got an upgrade quickly into the offseason.
In 2015, the team's catching corps led by Mike Zunino (49 OPS+) was the worst in the league and it was not even close.
The Mariners' catchers registered a -1.9 fWAR last season, by far the worst in the Majors. They hit for a beyond dismal .168/.208/.259 slash line, posting a 28 wRC+, a solid 33 points behind second-worst.
By no means is Iannetta a superstar catcher, but he will definitely upgrade the catching position for the Mariners.
He hit for a .188/.293/.335 line with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs in 317 plate appearances last year. He provided slightly above-average defense, however, and was worth 0.5 fWAR.
Despite his poor showing in 2015, Iannetta could be in for a rebound year this upcoming season.
His .225 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) is an indicator of Iannetta getting unlucky on batted balls he put into play. His career average is .277. If Iannetta can even come close to his standard mark, one could expect his average to rise.
Just two seasons ago, Iannetta posted a .252/.373/.392 line in 373 plate appearances.