The Mariners have announced that they’ve signed catcher Chance Sisco to a minor league deal with an invite to Major League Spring Training. They also announced the previously reported deal with Steven Souza Jr.
A second round pick of the Orioles back in 2013, Sisco got some attention from prospect evaluators as he worked his way towards the majors. Baseball America ranked him the #57 prospect in the league in 2017 and #68 the following year, with the expectation being that he would serve as a bat-first catcher in the majors. Unfortunately, his time in the big leagues hasn’t quite lived up to that hype just yet.
Since making his MLB debut in 2017, he’s played in 196 games and stepped to the plate 608 times, hitting just .197/.317/.337, wRC+ of 82. Evaluations of his defense haven’t been especially kind to him either. He was designated for assignment by the Orioles in June of last year and claimed by the Mets, getting DFA’d again in September when Noah Syndergaard returned from the injured list.
For the Mariners, there’s no risk in taking a chance on a backstop who was once considered one of the better prospects in the game. Sisco just turned 27 and has just over three years of MLB service time. There were also minor signs of hope last year, as Sisco dropped his strikeout rate to 25.3%, after being above 30% in each of his previous seasons. The club’s catching depth was dinged recently when Jose Godoy was claimed off waivers by the Giants. Tom Murphy projects to be Seattle’s first string catcher, with Cal Raleigh and Luis Torrens also on the 40-man and available for backup duty. However, Torrens played catcher less and less as last year wore on, making his last appearance behind the plate July 9th. Adding Sisco into the fold gives the club an experienced option in the minors who could step up should a need arise.