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AP source: Mariners, Olivo reach agreement on deal

Miguel Olivo is returning to the Seattle Mariners, hoping to provide a bit of stability to Seattle's unsettled catcher situation.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday that Olivo has reached preliminary agreement on a contract to return to the Mariners. The deal is subject to Olivo passing a physical. The person spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not final.

FoxSports.com first reported the agreement and said it was for $7 million over two seasons.

This will be Olivo's second stint with the Mariners after spending parts of the 2004 and 2005 seasons in Seattle. Last year, Olivo hit a career-best .269 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs in Colorado.

Olivo spent the 2008-09 seasons with Kansas City and has also played for Florida, San Diego and the Chicago White Sox. He hit a career-high 23 homers in 2009 with Kansas City.

In coming to Seattle, Olivo is likely to contend for a starting spot. Young catchers Adam Moore and Rob Johnson never developed as the Mariners had hoped last year, with neither hitting above .200. Johnson played 61 games, mostly at the beginning of the season, then was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma. Moore played 60 games, splitting time between Tacoma and Seattle.

Josh Bard and Eliezer Alfonzo filled in the rest of the time behind the plate for the Mariners.

Olivo could bring give the mariners a steady starter. Mariners fans remember his unsuccessful first stint when Olivo played 104 games over two seasons and hit just .176 with an on-base percentage of .218. Olivo came to Seattle in a trade that sent right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia to the White Sox in the summer of 2004. Olivo was dealt a year later to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline.

The deal with Olivo is the second agreement the Mariners reached during baseball's winter meetings. Seattle reached an agreement with designated hitter Jack Cust on Wednesday.