Catcher John Jaso #27
28 years old; Experience: two years
Post Dan Wilson era, the catching position has been somewhat of a black hole for the Seattle Mariners, constantly filled by a rotating cast of loveable, but not good, characters who wear masks and block pitches poorly (re: Rob Johnson and Miguel Olivo). This past offseason, Jack Z pulled his magic once again, trading Josh Lueke and a player to be named later for John Jaso.
Unfortunately for Jaso, Jack Z later dealt for Jesus Montero. With Miguel Olivo on the team, it really seemed like Jaso would be left as the third string catcher - not even Rob Johnson status. Then luckily for Jaso, it became clear that Montero wasn't going to be the primary catching option and would be getting his reps at designated hitter mostly.
It should hopefully be clear to the organization's future that Olivo doesn't have much of a place in it. Even though the Mariners went out and acquired Montero, it is still unclear how much the team is going to let him catch. Jaso should be expected to catch 30 or 40 games, barring injuries to either Montero or Olivo. It is up to him to show that he belongs in the major leagues. In 2010, Jason didn't hit for a whole lot of power with the Rays, but he put up a very respectable OBP of .372, which is probably more than all Olivo years combined. Jaso is a patient hitter, so even when he isn't hitting as well (like he was in 2011), he is still able to be far from useless at the plate - and that OBP is what separates him very nicely from Olivo. The catching position is in a bit of flux for the Mariners, so it remains to be seen how much of it will have Jaso in the picture. For 2012, it will unfortunately not have as much as it should, as Olivo will still be taking the most squats behind the plate.