In the midst of their pre-Spring Training luncheon the Mariners naturally made a deal. Jerry paused for a moment between bites of grilled chicken salad and waxing about the offseason work being put in by James Paxton. Calmly, he hit the transaction button on his wrist to reset the Speed-style explosive that will detonate if he goes too long without a move.
Dipoto made a move during the presser. M's have claimed catcher Tuffy Gosewisch off waivers from Atlanta. DFA Jonathon Aro.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) January 26, 2017
It's an unexciting move, but a move nonetheless. Reliever Jonathan Aro came to the Mariners alongside Wade Miley from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for LHP Roenis Elias and reliever Carson Smith, in a deal that has produced exclusively sadness and disappointment for both sides. The 26 year-old righty failed to stand out, and showed a less than stellar ability to generate Ks in Tacoma. He was leapfrogged by players like Edwin Diaz and Dan Altavilla, and the focus on the bullpen from Dipoto all offseason showed Aro as a long shot already.
Tuffy Gosewisch is a 33 year old catcher, so lest you think this is a typical Jerry buy-low, it is much more of a depth move. The good with Gosewisch is his defense and his intelligence. Gosewisch did an interview on catching with David Laurila of Fangraphs in which he described much of his learning process and mentality behind the plate. Included are thoughts on the importance of framing and blocking, as well as the different ways to most effectively receive pitchers who have unremarkable velocity.
He has hovered around replacement-level for his career, with excellent defensive skills overshadowed by an inability to hit a lick. In his four-year MLB career Gosewisch has averaged a ghastly 36 wRC+ and a .199/.237/.286 triple slash. For context, Mike Zunino’s catastrophic 2015 season produced a 47 wRC+ in approximately the same number of at-bats. Gosewisch should be viewed as more of a John Buck-type than any type of challenger for an opening day spot, but anything can happen (hopefully not).
Oh, and why is he called Tuffy?
Hell yeah. Whatever it takes,
Ruddy stuffy puffy Tuffy. Welcome to Seattle.