Mariners sign AA outfielder Travis Witherspoon
Minor-leaguer Travis Witherspoon, 24, hit .214 for the Angels’ Class AA team last season. The Mariners designated for assignment catcher Henry Blanco and have 10 days to trade, release or outright the 42-year-old catcher to the minor leagues.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Mariners began offseason housecleaning Tuesday by designating catcher Henry Blanco for assignment and claiming Class AA outfielder Travis Witherspoon off waivers.
Blanco, 42, made history with Seattle by becoming the oldest player to hit two grand slams in one season. The rest of his time was otherwise unremarkable after he was signed as a midsummer mentor to rookie Mike Zunino.
The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Blanco to the minors.
Witherspoon, 24, hit .214 with 11 homers and 18 doubles while playing mainly center field for the Angels’ AA affiliate in Arkansas. He also had 30 stolen bases in 129 games and has 110 steals since the start of the 2011 season.
The Mariners lack outfield depth in the upper minors, particularly in center. Center field has also been an ongoing source of weakness in the majors for the team with the inability of Franklin Gutierrez — expected to leave this winter as a free agent — to stay healthy.