By Shannon Drayer
Well, this move came out of left field. The Mariners have announced they have signed 41-year-old veteran catcher Henry Blanco and designated for assignment Kelly Shoppach.
Blanco, who has spent the majority of his career as a backup, has played in all of 73 games the last three years. This move would indicate that, barring disaster, Mike Zunino is now the Mariners’ everyday catcher.
“We had interest in Henry this offseason,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said in the press release. “And recent circumstances developed allowing us to acquire Henry. We are pleased to be able to add him to our 25-man roster and look forward to his contributions.”
The move to cut Shoppach is a bit of a surprise despite his .196 average in 35 games. A move such as this one would indicate that the team perhaps was looking for something else in a mentor for Zunino.
Blanco was DFA’d by the Blue Jays earlier this week and had been mainly catching R.A. Dickey.