In need of a backup for projected starting catcher Mike Zunino, the Mariners brought back a familiar face to compete for that open job. On Monday, the team announced it had re-signed veteran Humberto Quintero to a minor-league contract with an invite to major-league spring training.
Quintero, 34, appeared in 22 games for the Mariners last season, hitting .224 with two home runs and four runs batted in. He started the season with the Phillies and played in 24 games, hitting .250 with two homers and nine RBI. He was designated for assignment by the Phillies on July 24. The Mariners signed him on July 26, a day after Zunino suffered a broken hand in a game.
The team could still sign another veteran catcher to compete with Quintero for the backup position. Right now, only Zunino, Jesus Sucre and Jesus Montero are listed on the 40-man roster. But Montero’s days as a catcher appear to be over. Before he suffered a knee injury and was then suspended for the remainder of the season by major-league baseball, Montero was in the process of converting to first base. Sucre, 25, played in eight games for the Mariners, but then suffered a broken wrist. He never made it back to the big leagues. He is currently playing winter ball in Venezuela and is hitting. 167 in 16 games.
Mariners pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Peoria, Ariz., on Feb. 12. Position players are slated to report on Feb. 17.
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