Veteran catcher Miguel Olivo is joining the Seattle Mariners … again. The 32-year-old reportedly agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract with the Mariners on Thursday morning following the MLB winter meetings in Orlando. It will be Olivo’s second go-around with the Mariners after the catcher spent just over a year Seattle between 2004 and 2005.
SB Nation’s Lookout Landing has all the analysis of both Olivo the player and the two-year contract he was offered.
Not that this could ever be a real franchise-crippler, of course. Jon Morosi says it’s a two-year deal with a 2013 option worth a guaranteed $7 million, and my suspicion is that it’s something like two years and $6.5 million with a $0.5 million option buyout. That’s too small a contract to make a huge difference. But Olivo the player – Olivo could be a mess.
As a right-handed pull hitter, the possibility that Olivo will struggle at Safeco Field is strong. Again, Lookout Landing’s Jeff Sullivan is the voice of reason, reminding fans to calm the heck down.
Safeco Field is not a good fit for Miguel Olivo. It will turn some of his homers and doubles into doubles and outs. That’s unavoidable. But let’s not overreact. Safeco Field’s still a Major League ballpark that doesn’t reduce righty pull hitters to rubble. Miguel Olivo could very well have some success.
The signing, and contract, likely means Olivo is destined to take the Mariners’ starting catcher job. Adam Moore will now be relegated to the backup duties with Olivo taking the lion’s share of starts behind the plate in 2011 and, perhaps, beyond. Is it the end of the line for Adam Moore? Sullivan doesn’t think so, opining the move may give Moore a chance to properly develop while dealing with less pressure than he would as the everyday starter.
As long as he sticks, Moore will still get a chance to develop, even in a backup role. Not only will he play at least a couple times a week – he’ll also be in practice every day, learning from Major League coaches and Major League teammates. And if he gets better, then I’m sure the Mariners would love nothing more than to see him start challenging Olivo for playing time.
As always, check out Lookout Landing for all the latest Mariners news and analysis.