The Mariners are close to a deal with free agent catcher John Buck (Morosi, Jan. 13).

Buck, 33, hit .219 with 15 HR (14 before the All-Star break) and 62 RBI between the Mets and Pirates in 2013.

The Mets had interest in reacquiring Buck, who was looking for a guaranteed deal. From what I could gather, the Mets didn’t want to lock up a roster spot with a back-up catcher, knowing the top spot would go to Travis d’Arnaud. Instead, with Anthony Recker and Juan Centeno in the mix, they preferred to sign a veteran back-up to a minor-league deal, like Taylor Teagarden. Teagarden has six years in the big leagues, albeit just 500 or so at bats. Nevertheless, he’s young, but enough of a veteran that he can still help Travis without overshadowing him.