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Mariners acquire OF Almonte from Yanks for RHP Kelley

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik today announced that the club has acquired outfielder Abraham Almonte from the New York Yankees in exchange for right-handed relief pitcher Shawn Kelley.

Almonte, 23, spent last season primarily with Double-A Trenton in the Yankees organization. He hit .276 (88x319) with 47 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs, 25 RBI and 30 stolen bases in 78 games. The 5-9, 205-pound switch hitter was named an Eastern League midseason All-Star and ranked 5th in the EL in stolen bases (30-for-350. He also appeared in 7 games with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees.

In seven minor league seasons in the Yankees organization, the native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic has recorded 276 stolen bases and hit .263 (574x2183) in 573 games. He was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2005.

Kelley, 28, was designated for assignment on Feb. 7 when the Mariners signed free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach. Kelley went 2-4 with a 3.25 ERA (16 ER, 44.1 IP) in 47 relief appearances last season. Over parts of four Major League seasons the Louisville, Kentucky native has a 3.52 ERA in 120 relief appearances. He was originally selected in the 13th round of the 2007 June draft out of Austin Peay University.

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