Mariners complete Mark Trumbo deal for catcher Steve Clevenger, sign pitcher Justin De Fratus

Dec 2, 2015, 2:14 PM | Updated: Dec 3, 2015, 11:19 am
Steve Clevenger, who has spent parts of the last five seasons in the majors, hit .287 with the Orio...
Steve Clevenger, who has spent parts of the last five seasons in the majors, hit .287 with the Orioles in 2015. (AP)
(AP)
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The Mariners have announced they acquired catcher Steve Clevenger from Baltimore in exchange for Mark Trumbo and left-handed reliever C.J. Riefenhauser.

“Adding Steve to our roster further addresses our desire to build depth and balance behind the plate,” said general manager Jerry Dipoto in a press release. “He’s coming off a season in which he clicked at the Major League level the way it has always been in the minors.”

Clevenger, who has spent parts of the last five seasons in the majors, hit .287/.314/.426/.740 in 105 plate appearances with the Orioles in 2015. A lefty hitter, he was used almost exclusively against right-handers. In addition to catching, he has experience playing first and third base. He is out of minor league options, so the move makes it more likely we will see Mike Zunino start 2016 in the minors.

In addition to completing the trade with the Orioles, the Mariners have signed right-handed reliever Justin De Fratus, who has spent his entire career with the Phillies, to a one-year contract. While the team has not given the terms the deal it is reported to be worth $750,000.

“Justin gives us another young, Major League-ready arm in the mix for our bullpen,” Dipoto said in the release. “He brings us one step closer to the type of depth we believe is required to be truly competitive in this league. Justin remains a young pitcher with good stuff who has been both durable and resilient as a Major Leaguer, while also being just one year removed from an excellent 2014 season.”

De Fratus, who made his big league debut in 2011, pitched 80 innings in 61 appearances in 2015, putting up a 5.51 ERA. Most of his trouble came in multiple-inning outings. He had 25 appearances of more than one inning in 2015, something that was kept to a minimum before that. In 2014 he had his best year, pitching 52.2 innings in 54 games, with a 2.39 ERA.

With the moves so far today the Mariners 40-man roster is now at 39, with the signing of Nori Aoki still pending physical.

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