Mariners close to signing catcher John Buck

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Mariners are moving in on a deal that would bring the veteran backstop to Seattle to serve as Mike Zunino's backup.

The Mariners have agreed to sign catcher John Buck to a one-year, $1 million contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com was first to report that deal between the two sides was close.

Buck was involved in several major deals last offseason before finally landing with the Mets. He was dealt from the Marlins to the Blue Jays as a part of the trade that also sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto. He was then sent to New York in another headline-making deal, the Blue Jays trade for R.A. Dickey.

Buck was red hot for the Mets to begin the season, hitting nine home runs in the month of April. He cooled down considerably after that, hitting .215/.285/.367 in 407 plate appearances with New York before being traded to the Pirates on August 27 along with outfielder Marlon Byrd. Buck saw limited action for the Pirates playing behind starter Russell Martin. He went 7-24 with the Pirates in the final month of the season.

With Mike Zunino expected to be the primary catcher for the Mariners in 2014, Buck is most likely to serve as the backup in Seattle. Zunino was generally considered the top catching prospect in the game heading into the 2013 season. He struggled some at the plate in his first trip to the majors last season, but he is still viewed a potential impact player at the position. In 193 plate appearances last year, the 22-year-old hit .214/.290/.329.

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