As I’m sure you all well know, the Mariners recently traded John Jaso and brought in Mike Morse. This move left Jesus Montero as the only catcher on the roster, something that needed to be remedied. Everyone, meet Ronny Paulino, your… uh, remedy.
Seattle is Paulino’s fifth team, and he’ll make $1 million with the possibility of a small bonus should he make the team out of Spring Training. He started his career in Pittsburgh, moving to Florida, the Mets, and was most recently with the Baltimore. He’s not much of a hitter, he doesn’t have much of a reputation as a defensive backstop, and he’s almost 32 years old. Don’t look for Paulino to go dinger-for-dinger with Mike Morse or Kendrys Morales, or match someone like Yadier Molina behind the plate. But he’s a servicable backup catcher, and will be easy to get rid of should Mike Zunino absolutely dominate the minors.
One thing that looks obvious is the Mariners are going with Montero as their primary catcher to start the season, barring another move. Montero did well against lefties last year (.322/.366/.463), but struggled against righties (.228/.262/.346). He’ll have plenty to improve upon, including his catching defense. I should also mention that he’s a horrible baserunner. I have high hopes for Jesus that he’ll improve, and will do so this year. I’m glad to see Jack Z. and Co. have shown confidence in him.
So welcome Ronny Paulino now, Seattle. He may not be around for long.