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Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to 2-year, $4 million deal

The veteran catcher replaces Welington Castillo, who was non-tendered.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Diamondbacks have reached agreement on a 2-year, $4 million deal with catcher Jeff Mathis, a source confirms to SB Nation. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman was first to report the deal.

Arizona adds Mathis after non-tendering Welington Castillo, who was slated to be their starting catcher next season. The move appears to be a cost-cutting measure for a club, as Castillo was due, as a third-year arbitration-eligible player, to earn a raise from the $3.7 million he earned last year.

It is unclear if Arizona will make another move at catcher this winter under new general manager Mike Hazen. Mathis, a career backup, could be the first move before the club pursues a top free agent like Matt Wieters or Wilson Ramos. The club currently has Mathis and Chris Herrmann on its depth chart.

Mathis, 33, had a strong market in free-agency after hitting .238/.267/.333 with two homers in 41 games for the Marlins last season. He was one of a handful of veteran free-agent catchers on the market this year, and joins Jason Castro (Twins) and Drew Butera (Royals) as players who have already signed.

Mathis is a veteran of 12 major-league seasons with the Angels (2005-12) and Marlins (2013-16) and owns a career .197/.254/.308 line in that time. He is viewed as a plus defensive catcher.