Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Pitchers and Catchers Report: Feb. 12
Full Squad Reports: Feb. 15
Signing Yorvit Torrealba isn't a sexy move by any stretch of the imagination, but it's a necessary one for the Mariners.
Seattle had to give up starting catcher John Jaso in the three-team deal that bought Michael Morse to the Emerald City, leaving Jesus Montero as the team's everyday catcher.
As the Mariners learned quickly last season, Montero isn't the ideal choice to stick behind the plate on a daily basis.
While über-prospect Mike Zunino tore the cover off of the ball in the minor leagues last season—posting a .360/.447/.689 slash line between three different levels of the Seattle farm system—it was his first taste of professional baseball.
Chances are, Seattle would prefer to give him another year to develop in the minors before bringing him up.
That leaves an opening for a veteran backstop, and while Torrealba might not be the best option available, he's the best fit for the Mariners.
A solid defensive backstop, Torrealba has similar slash lines over his career against right-handed starters (.258/.312/.383) and southpaws (.255/.326/.394).
Montero, by comparison, has struggled against right-handers thus far in his young career (.227/.267/.328), while crushing lefties (.343/.390/.483).
I'm not suggesting that Torrealba should get the bulk of the playing time over Montero, and sooner or later, Montero is going to need to figure out how to hit right-handed pitching. But Torrealba would be a relatively inexpensive signing, and he would give the Mariners some insurance behind the plate.
Perhaps most importantly, though, it would allow the team some time so they wouldn't have to rush Zunino to the big leagues.