Mariners to sign Ronny Paulino

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Seattle will shell out $1 million for the veteran catcher on what is believed to be a minor-league deal.

The Seattle Mariners have signed veteran catcher Ronny Paulino to a $1 million contract with $200k available in bonuses if he makes the big-league roster, reports Alexander Azuaje of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol:

If Paulino does makes the squad out of camp, he will likely serve as Jesus Montero's back-up only until top prospect Mike Zunino arrives on the scene at mid-season, though Larry Stone of the Seattle Times speculates that the Mariners could sign another catcher in the next few weeks and use Paulino as a third-string failsafe in case one of their top two guys gets injured.

Paulino, 31, appeared in just 20 big-league games in 2012, taking on the back-up catcher role for the Baltimore Orioles early on before being replaced by Taylor Teagarden. He hit just .254/.266/.302 in 64 plate appearances in his brief stint with the O's.

Paulino is a career .272/.324/.376 hitter in eight big-league seasons, though he hasn't hit anywhere near those numbers since 2009.

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