Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have signed veteran catcher Humberto Quintero to provide depth behind the plate in the wake of Mike Zunino’s hamate bone surgery.
Quintero was designated for assignment by the Phillies on Wednesday and opted to become a free agent after passing through waivers unclaimed.
The 33-year-old was batting .250/.294/.406 with two home runs and nine RBI in 24 games this season for Philadelphia. He’s likely to share time at catcher with Henry Blanco while Zunino recovers from his surgery.
Zunino could be in rehab mode for the remainder of the 2013 campaign.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.