Henry Blanco left his mark on an otherwise forgettable Mariners season, clubbing two grand slams at age 41 — making him the oldest player to do that. He also forged an interesting platoon with pitcher Taijuan Walker late in the season, giving the team the oldest catcher-youngest pitcher age gap in over 20 years for a start.
But Blanco wasn’t going to be here in 2014. Today, the Mariners designated him for assignment in a move that could very well end Blanco’s long big league career. They have 10 days to trade him, release him or outright him to the minors, but his time with the Mariners is pretty much done.
The move was made to free up a roster spot so the Mariners could add Class AA outfielder Travis Witherspoon, claimed off waivers from the Angels organization earlier today.
Withersppon, 24, spent last season in AA with the Angels, where he played all three outfield spots and hit .214 with 11 homers, 18 doubles, three triples and stole 30 bases in 129 games. He has 140 steals in 173 attempts as a minor leaguer, with 110 combined steals the last three seasons.
He’s a 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-handed hitter.
The Mariners lack outfield depth in the upper minors, especially in center field. So, this is part of an effort to acquire more depth.