From Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com comes word that the Phillies have signed catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league contract. The agreement also comes with an invitation to spring training.
To many, the move probably seems like a reaction to the 25-game amphetamine suspension handed down this afternoon to starting catcher Carlos Ruiz. And it does work well as one. But the deal was actually finalized before news of that punishment spread.
Quintero batted .232/.257/.341 with one home run and 19 RBI in 144 plate appearances this past season for the Royals before being designated for assignment near the end of June. The 33-year-old then signed on with the Brewers but spent the rest of the summer with their Triple-A affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee.
Quintero will presumably team with Eric Kratz on starting catching duties for the first month of 2013.
The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.
This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.
The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.