Last week I wrote about the options the Texas Rangers have for catchers next season. In that article I mentioned Chris Iannetta as one potential option that Jon Daniels might pick up. Yesterday the Seattle Mariners picked him up off free-agency.
For the Mariners he’ll be a good addition and will probably go head-to-head in Spring Training against Mike Zunino for the starting position. I’d guess it will be a pretty good battle between the two, but I’d guess that Iannetta will probably win the starting spot next season. Iannetta spent 4 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels meaning we’ll still see him just as much since he’ll remain in the American League West. Mariners’ General Manager Jerry Dipoto has this to say about Ianneta.
"“Chris has a very distinct skill set and really brings an added dimension,” Dipoto said. “Not only stability behind the plate, where he’s worked very hard to improve, but he’s also a veteran with an idea when he gets into the box. He does a lot to help your lineup get longer.” – Greg Johns – MLB.com"
So that brings up the question. How’s he done against the Texas Rangers? He hasn’t done so well at the plate. He’s not known for his offensive skills, but rather his defense behind the backstop. Over those 4 seasons he has a batting line against the Rangers of .188/.386/.219/.605. He has a career average with the Angels at .226/.342/.374/.716.
Last season Iannetta started off the season with a batting average of 0.93 in 21 games/54 at-bats. That lowly average reminds me of a former Rangers catcher J.P. Arencibia. At that time Iannetta was quoted saying.
Overall, I hope that he does well in Seattle. I always hope players do well where ever they land. I’m glad the Rangers passed on him because I feel like they have better catchers with Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez. If the Rangers are going to make a move it needs to be an upgrade to make it worth letting go one of those two guys.
Watch: 7/24/15: Shawn Tolleson strikes out Chris Iannetta to notch the save and secure the Rangers’ 4-2 win over the Angels