Mariners rumors: Looking to add pitcher, catcher

Elsa

Seattle continues to seek a veteran pitcher and a defense-oriented catcher.

While the offseason might be winding down for many teams, the Seattle Mariners are still hunting for depth.

General manager Jack Zduriencik would like to add a veteran starter, according to the Seattle Times' Larry Stone, and lefty Joe Saunders is a possibility, per CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Jack Z would also like to add another catcher for his pitching acquisition, reports Greg Johns of MLB.com.

The market for free-agent pitching is very thin outside of Kyle Lohse, but Saunders would represent a strong, stable possibility for Seattle. The southpaw spent the 2012 season pitching with the Diamondbacks and Orioles, firing 174⅔ innings and posting a 4.07 ERA while lowering his walk totals from 2.8 BB/9 in 2011 to 2.0 in 2012 and upping his strikeouts from 4.6 K/9 in 2011 to 5.8 in 2012.

Saunders gets a healthy dose of his outs in the air, and Safeco's generous dimensions could complement his tendencies.

After trading starting catcher John Jaso to the Athletics recently as part of the three-team swing to acquire Michael Morse from the Nationals, the Mariners are on the lookout for catching depth. Right now, Jesus Montero projects to be the starter, but the 23-year-old is an offense-oriented backstop with numerous defensive deficiencies.

It was reported earlier this week that the club had signed veteran backstop Ronny Paulino to a $1 million minor-league deal, but that has yet to be confirmed by the club.

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