Adding and Subtracting: Buck comes, Peguero goes

Yesterday the Mariners officially added catcher John Buck to their 40 man roster after he signed a one-year one million dollar contract. In order to make room for him the M’s designated minor league outfielder Carlos Peguero for assignment.

Buck joins recently acquired Humberto Quintero as depth behind likely starter Mike Zunino, a 2012 first round draft pick. Last year the Mariners struggled mightily with depth at the catcher position, going through seven catchers with the big league club.

Last year Buck played in 110 games for the Mets and Pirates, with a slash line of .219/.282/.365. He’s a solid defensive catcher: blocks the plate well, mediocre arm, poor pitch framing. He is certain to get plenty of playing time. He is also a reasonable plan B if Zunino should again be injured, or if he should need to spend some more time for seasoning in Tacoma.

The M’s have made some reasonable moves to provide a bit of depth this year in picking up Willie Bloomquist, able to play most positions on the field, and Franklin Gutierrez as a fill-in outfielder, if he can stay healthy.

Carlos Peguero was the casualty from the 40 man roster, making way for Buck. Peguero was never one of my favorite players. The 6’5″ 260 lb. outfielder never seemed to play the game under control. Blessed with power that threatened to send batted balls into orbit around the sun, he could only seem to hit mistakes. When he did the ball certainly could travel. But in 219 major league plate appearances, Peguero struck out 84 times. In the field the big man seemed like a semi-truck whose brakes had failed. He covered a lot of ground, but I always felt like I had to cover my eyes as he ran uncontrollably toward centerfield or at a tracking Dustin Ackley. Peguero could be a great Cerrano in the remake of Major League. And you know it’s just a matter of time.

Not likely to see much more until the Masahiro Tanaka constipation clears up. The M’s need to be in the pitching chase that follows if they hope to make any meaningful steps forward in the wake of the Robinson Cano signing.


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