MLB News

Mariners Sign Mitch Garver – MLB Trade Rumors

Mariners Sign Mitch Garver - MLB Trade Rumors

The Mariners announced the signing of Mitch Garver to a two-year contract on Thursday afternoon.  The deal, which also includes a mutual option for 2026, reportedly guarantees the ISE Baseball client $24MM.  Seattle’s 40-man roster count sits at 37.

While Cal Raleigh is still Seattle’s top backstop, Garver gives the Mariners a prominent bat who can act as both a backup catcher and a regular presence at designated hitter.  This was the role Garver filled with aplomb for the Rangers last season, as he hit .270/.370/.500 with 19 homers over 344 plate appearances while mostly acting as a DH to allow All-Star Jonah Heim regular time behind the plate.  Garver was then the exclusive first-choice DH for the Rangers’ postseason run, as he hit .226/.317/.434 with three homers over 60 PA to help Texas capture its first World Series title.

It wasn’t an entirely perfect platform season for Garver, however, as he missed close to two full months early in the season due to a left knee sprain.  This continued a pattern of injuries that has plagued Garver throughout his career, as he has played in only 232 of a possible 546 games since the start of the 2020 season.  These health issues (ranging from forearm surgery, an intercostal strain, and knee, groin, and back problems) have contributed to Garver’s increasingly limited usage at catcher, as the move to a DH role should help him stay on the field with a bit more regularity.

This led to something of a tricky entry into free agency for Garver, as while he was technically the top catcher on the market, it would’ve been risky for a team to rely on him for anything more than a timeshare at the position.  As MLBTR’s Nick Deeds suggested back in October, Garver’s ideal landing spot might be “a team with another reliable catching option, so Garver could have a clear path to DH playing time and face less pressure to regularly suit up behind the plate.”

The Mariners fit the bill perfectly, with Raleigh establishing himself as the No. 1 catcher and a big power source over the last two seasons.  The switch-hitting Raleigh has much better numbers against right-handers than against left-handers, which dovetails nicely with the right-handed hitting Garver’s ability to mash left-handed pitching.

Tom Murphy signed with the Giants last week, though the M’s seemingly prepared for that departure by acquiring catcher Seby Zavala as part of the Eugenio Suarez trade with the Diamondbacks.  If Garver is going…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Seattle Mariners – MLB Trade Rumors…