Mariners Sign Catcher Chris Iannetta to 1-Year Contract

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10-Year Major League veteran has a .351 career on-base percentage.

SEATTLE, Wash. – Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that the club has signed free agent catcherChris Iannetta to a 1-year contract through the 2016 season. To make room on the Major League 40-man roster, catcher John Hicks has been designated for assignment.

“This move improves our depth at a critical position,” said Dipoto. “Chris provides us with a solid veteran presence behind the plate, as well as an experienced Major League hitter with strong on-base skills who will lengthen our lineup.”

Iannetta, 32, hit .188 (51×272) with 28 runs, 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 34 RBI in 92 games with the Angels last season. He appeared in 85 games behind the plate including 80 starts.

In 10 Major League seasons, he has hit .231 (590×2553) with 332 runs, 125 doubles, 10 triples, 100 home runs, 378 RBI and a .351 on-base percentage in 852 games with Colorado (2006-11) and Los Angeles-AL (2012-15). His .351 on-base percentage since the start of 2006 is T3rd-best amongst catchers (min. 3,000 PA) behind San Francisco’s Buster Posey (.375), Toronto’s Russell Martin (.352) and tied with Philadelphia’s Carlos Ruiz (.351). Amongst catchers since 2006 (min. 800 G), his .995 fielding percentage leads the Majors.

Iannetta was selected by Colorado in the 4th round of the 2004 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a finalist for the Johnny Bench Award and a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy.

Hicks, 26, appeared in 17 games, 14 games behind the plate (10 GS) with Seattle, hitting .063 (2×32) with 1 run, 1 double, 1 RBI and 1 walk. He appeared in 83 games with AAA Tacoma, batting .245 (73×298) with 39 runs, 15 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR and 35 RBI. In five minor league seasons with Seattle, hit .280 (428×1529) with 229 runs, 82 doubles, 9 triples, 32 home runs & 216 RBI in 403 games after being selected in 4th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

The club now has 10 days to trade, release or outright Hicks to the minors.

IANNETTA’s PLAYING RECORD

 

 

YEAR CLUB AVG G AB R H TB 2B 3B HR RBI SH SF HB BB SO SB CS SLG OBP
2004 Asheville .314 36 121 23 38 60 5 1 5 17 0 0 4 27 29 0 1 .496 .454
2005 Modesto .276 74 261 51 72 128 17 3 11 58 0 4 2 45 61 1 2 .490 .381
  Tulsa .233 19 60 7 14 25 3 1 2 11 0 1 1 8 15 0 0 .417 .329
2006 Tulsa .321 44 156 38 50 97 10 2 11 26 1 1 3 24 26 1 0 .622 .418
  Colorado Springs .351 47 151 23 53 76 12 1 3 22 1 1 3 24 29 0 0 .503 .447
  COLORADO .260 21 77 12 20 30 4 0 2 10 1 1 1 13 17 0 1 .390 .370
2007 COLORADO .218 67 197 22 43 69 8 3 4 27 1 2 5 29 58 0 0 .350 .330
  Colorado Springs .296 16 54 8 16 22 3 0 1 7 0 0 2 7 6 0 0 .407 .397
2008 COLORADO .264 104 333 50 88 168 22 2 18 65 2 2 14 56 92 0 0 .505 .390
2009 COLORADO .228 93 289 41 66 133 15 2 16 52 1 6 11 43 75 0 1 .460 .344
  Colorado Springs .333 4 15 3 5 10 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 2 6 0 0 .667 .412
2010 COLORADO .197 61 188 20 37 72 6 1 9 27 0 1 4 30 48 1 0 .383 .318
  Colorado Springs .349 17 63 17 22 44 7 0 5 21 0 1 2 10 10 0 0 .698 .447
2011 COLORADO .238 112 345 51 82 143 17 1 14 55 2 4 5 70 89 6 3 .414 .370
2012 LOS ANGELES-AL .240 79 221 27 53 88 6 1 9 26 0 1 2 29 60 1 3 .398 .332
  Salt Lake .273 6 22 3 6 8 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 3 7 0 0 .364 .360
2013 LOS ANGELES-AL .225 115 325 40 73 121 15 0 11 39 0 4 2 68 100 0

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