As of about 8PM yesterday, it is official that Kelly Shoppach, Catcher, has signed with the Mariners, pending today’s physical. His contract is for $1.5 million dollars with $500 thousand in incentives.
Shoppach is a .226 career hitter, with 67 homeruns in the MLB. He has accumulated 7.9 WAR during his eight years in the Majors. He has never played a more than 115 games in a single season, and has played over 90 only once.
In other words, Kelly Shoppach stinks.
He is an average fielder at best. He doesn’t do anything particularly well. Have you seen him try to steal a base?
He brings nothing to the Mariners. Except maybe, maybe, a veteran presence. But the M’s already have lots of those. Raul Ibanez, anyone?
He’s not nearly as good as Ronny Paulino, the M’s other backup to Jesus. Ronny is an average defender who also bats .325 against lefties.
Did I mention that Shoppach strikes out 33% of the time? That makes him the most strikeout-prone player in the Major Leagues!
Maybe the M’s brought him in to get hit by a few pitches, as he does that in about one out of every thirty-three at bats.
The Mariners probably should have given the $1.5 million dollars they are guaranteeing Shoppach to charity. Or they could have just given it to Felix Hernandez for being awesome.
Anyway, the M’s made a meaningless signing. They brought in a worse version of their backup catcher. They brought in a backup to their backup. Thank goodness this is only a one-year contract. That is what makes this signing bearable.