SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager Jack Zduriencik announced today the following roster moves:
• Henry Blanco, C, signed as a Major League free agent
• Kelly Shoppach, C, designated for assignment
Blanco will wear #33 and be available for tonight’s game vs. the Oakland A’s at O.co Coliseum (7:07 p.m.).
Blanco, 41, is a veteran of 16 Major League seasons with Los Angeles (NL, 1997), Colorado (1999), Milwaukee (2000-2001), Atlanta (2002-2003), Minnesota (2004), Chicago (NL, 2005-2008), San Diego (2009), New York (NL, 2010), Arizona (2011-2012) and Toronto (2013). He has a well-earned reputation as a strong defensive catcher, including catching over 40% of baserunners attempting to steal against him in his career (240 catchers-caught stealing in 590 opportunities, a 40.7% success rate).
Blanco signed as a free agent with Toronto on Jan. 11, 2013 and was released on June 10. He appeared in 15 games with the Blue Jays this season, catching in 13 games, including 11 consecutive starts by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
“We had interest in Henry this off season,” Zduriencik said. “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.”
Shoppach, 33, hit .196 (21x107) in 35 games with the Mariners this season with 7 doubles, 3 home runs and 9 RBI with 12 walks and 45 strikeouts. The Mariners now have 10 days to trade, release or outright Shoppach’s contract.