To add to their catching depth, the Mariners have signed Josh Bard to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
Bard, 32, played in 39 games for the Mariners last season. He made 35 starts at catcher. He hit .214 (24-for-112) with 7 doubles, 3 home runs and 10 RBI. He opened the season with Tacoma (AAA) before being selected to the Major League roster on May 16. Bard was on the disabled list from May 27-June 27 with a strained left calf.
The veteran catcher will be entering his 12th professional season, having spent time in the Majors in each of the last nine with Cleveland (2002-05), Boston (2006), San Diego (2006-08), Washington (2009) and Seattle (2010). He is a career .256 hitter with 37 home runs in 560 Major League games.