The Mariners have agreed to a minor league pact with veteran catcher Pedro Severino, tweets Tacoma Rainiers director of communications Paul Braverman. Severino, a client of Republik Sports, opted out of a minor league deal with the Padres last week. He’s been assigned to Triple-A Tacoma and will give the Mariners some catching depth there.
The 29-year-old Severino had a strong start at the plate with the Padres’ Triple-A club, slashing .286/.400/.476 with three home runs, three doubles and more walks (12) than strikeouts (10) in his first 75 plate appearances. He even added a surprising three stolen bases, matching his career-high from any prior season.
Severino has logged Major League time in each of the past eight seasons, typically serving as a backup or the right-handed end of a catching platoon. Dating back to the 2019 season, he’s a .248/.316/.396 hitter with 29 homers, 38 doubles, an 8.6% walk rate and a 23.9% strikeout rate in 959 plate appearances (mostly with the Orioles).
As far as catchers go, Severino is a solid hitter — evidenced both by his big start to the season in El Paso and that respectable four-year run from 2019-22. However, he’s long graded out as a poor defensive backstop. Severino routinely posts below-average framing marks, and Defensive Runs Saved dings him for -18 in his 2574 career innings behind the dish. He does have a solid 28.5% caught-stealing rate in the big leagues, but his 33 passed balls from 2015-22 are the 22nd-most in MLB — despite the fact that all but one name ahead of him on the list (the now-retired Josh Phegley) have at least 600 more innings behind the plate. Statcast’s tracking of catchers’ blocking data only dates back to 2020, but Severino ranks last among big league catchers in its Blocks Above Average metric.
The Mariners are largely set behind the plate, with slugging Cal Raleigh taking the majority of the playing time and veteran Tom Murphy backing him up. In Tacoma, the Mariners have Jacob Nottingham and minor league veteran Brian O’Keefe as their primary options, though catcher/outfielder Cooper Hummel has also logged a pair of games behind the plate. Bringing Severino into the mix will give them another option behind the dish and another bat to work into the lineup against left-handed pitching. In 449 big league plate appearances against southpaws, Severino is a .260/.325/.436 hitter.