|Mariners make Shoppach signing official; DFA Kelley|
by Rick Randall of SeattleClubhouse.com, February 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm ET
Kelly Shoppach Profile
The Seattle Mariners made the long-rumored signing of veteran free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach official this afternoon, announcing the 1-year pact in a team release. To clear space on the 40-man roster for Shoppach, the M's designated reliever Shawn Kelley -- who recently reached agreement on a 2013 contract in arbitration with the club -- for assignment.
Shoppach comes to the Mariners after playing for the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox in 2012, posting a combined line of .233/.309/.425 with eight home runs, 14 doubles and 27 RBI in 76 games. He threw out 16 of 48 would-be-basestealers during the year after leading all MLB backstops by throwing out 40.9% in 2011 while with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Prior to his two seasons in Tampa Bay Shoppach played four years with the Cleveland Indians and current M's skipper Eric Wedge where he posted a .788 OPS over more than 1,000 plate appearances. Those seasons included his 2008 campaign where he set career highs in most offensive categories including HR (21), 2B (27), RBI (55), BB (36) and OPS (.865). The Mariners Baseball Information Department notes that he ranks 4th among active catchers with a home run every 22.36 at-bats (minimum 1,000 PA).
Kelley, a former 13th round draft pick and two-time Tommy John recipient as a pro, had been on and off the DL and up and down from Tacoma to Seattle over the past four seasons for the Mariners, logging 128 big league innings and posting a 3.52 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 8.6 SO/9 over that time. Kelley's Achilles' heel over his big league career has been the long ball as he's allowed 19 home runs in his 128 innings (1.3 HR/9). He also posted the 5th lowest GB% (28.8%) of all MLB relievers with 40 or more IP during the 2012 season and he has the 7th lowest career rate (29.5%) of pitchers with 120 or more MLB innings since 2009.
Seattle has 10 days to trade, release or outright Kelley to the minor leagues.