That’s right, he’s back. The Mariners signed Miguel Olivo to a two year, $7 million deal earlier today, and well, this is a move that it’s pretty easy to be unhappy with. He’s 32 years old, his offensive package is in no way a fit for a ballpark like Safeco, and his plate approach is flat out painful to watch. He has his fair share of flaws as a player, and there will probably be numerous occasions in which we wish we had never signed him.
He isn’t all bad though. I’ve been against signing him all along, but there’s no denying that he brings at least a couple of positive to the table. His home run power will suffer at Safeco, but he’s still a good hitting catcher – over the last three years (only one of them at Coors), he’s posted OPSs north of .700. Anything in that area would be a huge improvement over the production we’ve been getting from our catchers. He also throws out a lot of base runners, so there’s that.
Perhaps the biggest negative this move brings, though, is what it means for Adam Moore. Clearly, the Mariner front office no longer has faith in him to be the catcher of the future, and this is him being effectively pushed out of his starting role. At this point, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him traded before the Winter is over. It’s unfortunate, as I think he’s deserving of at least one more chance to establish himself as a big league catcher – especially during a season that isn’t likely to mean a whole lot. It’d be one thing to bring a guy like Olivo in as a stopgap for 2011, but the fact that it’s at least a two year deal means that Moore has probably fallen out of their good graces.
All in all, this move isn’t a terrible one, and Olivo probably won’t have too much trouble earning his salary. However, I don’t think this was the best route to take, and at times it’s probably going to feel like we’re watching a chubbier version of Yuni at the plate.