Sources – Mitch Garver, Mariners reach 2-year, $24M deal


Catcher Mitch Garver and Seattle are in agreement on a two-year, $24 million contract, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Sunday, the Mariners’ foray into adding to a playoff contender after a winter of dealing off their major league roster.

Garver thrived in part-time at-bats for the Texas Rangers en route to their World Series title this year. In 344 plate appearances split between catcher and designated hitter, Garver hit .270/.370/.500 with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs.

Prior to the signing of Garver, who is expected to back up starting catcher Cal Raleigh and get the lion’s share of his at-bats at DH, the Mariners chased their 88-74 season by trading starting third baseman Eugenio Suarez and starting left fielder Jarred Kelenic in money-dump deals. Garver adds a bat with an expected weighted on base near the 90th percentile of all hitters last year.

While he’s not the star the Mariners need to pair alongside Julio Rodriguez — Seattle did not pursue Shohei Ohtani in free agency nor Juan Soto on the trade market — Garver certainly fills a need and represents a solid first move.

Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia dominated the headlines as the Rangers made their championship run in October, but Garver pitched in with pivotal hits despite not playing in his team’s first-round win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Before Game 2 of the American League Division Series, Texans manager Bruce Bochy told reporters that he had made up his mind it was time to get Garver into the mix against the Baltimore Orioles — and he delivered by hammering a grand slam and driving in five runs.

Garver also had three hits, including a home run, in an AL Championship Series Game 6 victory over the Houston Astros; he also had a hit and scored a run in Game 7.

He also went on to hit a home run in the World Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Garver, who turns 33 in January, has spent seven years in the majors, including five with the Minnesota Twins before he was traded to Texas in a deal for Isiah Kiner-Falefa (who then was traded to the New York Yankees along with Josh Donaldson).

In 2019, Garver was key part of a Twins lineup that set an all-time single-season record with 307 home runs — Garver had 31 in just 359 plate appearances, and was rewarded with a Silver Slugger Award.

He was primarily a catcher in his years with the Twins but has mostly been a backup there with Texas, as the Rangers were in the process of developing Jonah Heim as their regular catcher. Used primarily as a designated hitter, Garver caught 14 games in 2022, 28 games in 2023 and also had one appearance at first base last season.

ESPN’s Buster Olney contributed to this report.

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