SEATTLE — As expected, the Mariners filled their need for a veteran backup catcher Thursday by confirming a minor-league deal with John Baker that includes an invitation to big-league camp.
Baker, 34, became a free agent in December when not offered a contract by the Chicago Cubs after batting .192 with no homers and 15 RBIs in 68 games.
The Mariners reached a tentative agreement with Baker, a seven-year veteran, earlier in the week that was contingent on him passing a routine physical examination.
Baker is expected to battle Jesus Sucre in spring training for duty as the back to starting catcher Mike Zunino. The loser in the Sucre/Baker battle will likely share playing time at Triple-A Tacoma with John Hicks.
The signing boosts the Mariners’ camp roster to 58 players, including 18 non-roster invites. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 20 to the club’s complex in Peoria, Ariz. The first full-squad workout is Feb. 25.
Baker played for Florida from 2008-11 and for San Diego in 2012-13 before signing with the Cubs as a free agent in December 2013. He has a .247 average with 14 homers and 120 RBIs in 359 career games.
UPDATED MARINERS 2015 SPRING ROSTER