Why Mariners’ reported interest in defensively-skilled C Martín Maldonado is good news

Feb 20, 2019, 2:22 PM | Updated: 2:37 pm
Could the Mariners add veteran catcher Martín Maldonado? (AP)...
Could the Mariners add veteran catcher Martín Maldonado? (AP)

The Mariners made a change at catcher this offseason, trading Mike Zunino to Tampa Bay and acquiring Omar Narváez from the White Sox. But while the switch to Narváez gives the Mariners a more consistent hitter at the backstop position, they have admitted they took a step back defensively at the position with the departure of Zunino.

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So… enter Martín Maldonado?

The Mariners are reportedly interested in the 32-year-old Maldonado, who has never been known for his bat (career .220 average, .639 OPS) but most certainly is well regarded for what he has done behind the plate in eight MLB seasons with the Brewers, Angels and Astros.

For Brock Huard and Mike Salk, bringing Maldonado on board to split time with Narváez sounds like a no-brainer.

“You know what the Mariners should do? The Mariners should sign Martín Maldonado,” Salk quipped when the Maldonado rumor was brought up during Brock and Salk’s Good News, Bad News, No News segment Wednesday. “Go get this done. He’s exactly what they need.”

Huard explained precisely why signing Maldonado would make sense for the Mariners and the younger members of their pitching staff.

“He’s a tremendous catcher with a bazooka of an arm,” Huard said. “And we saw the numbers last year, when Zunino, who is a more than capable catcher and a guy that really connected with that staff, was behind the dish they were a better rotation, a better staff.

“You’ve got (Yusei Kikuchi) that’s come over, you’ve got Marco (Gonzales), Justus (Sheffield) eventually… Some of your young guys I think would be better off having a veteran behind the plate who can throw people out, who can defend, who can call a game, and who can continue to grow and develop (the Mariners’ pitchers).”

To hear the full conversation, listen to the final segment of this podcast from Wednesday’s edition of Brock and Salk.

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Why Mariners’ reported interest in defensively-skilled C Martín Maldonado is good news