Mariners release veteran catcher Shoppach

Mariners release veteran catcher Shoppach

Mariners release veteran catcher Shoppach

ANAHEIM - Kelly Shoppach was released by the Mariners on Thursday, six days after the veteran catcher was designated for assignment.

Shoppach will now go through release waivers and can be claimed by any other Major League club, with teams with the worst records having the first chance to select him. If he's not claimed by Saturday, he'll become a free agent.

Shoppach was designated for assignment last Friday in order to make room for Henry Blanco, a 41-year-old catcher who was released by the Blue Jays earlier in the week.

Shoppach, 33, hit .196 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 35 games after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract to be the Mariners' backup catcher in the spring. The nine-year veteran is a career .224 hitter in 571 games with the Red Sox, Indians, Rays, Mets and Mariners.

Blanco hit a grand slam in his first appearance for the Mariners, a 4-0 victory in Oakland on Saturday, and made his second start in Thursday's series finale in Anaheim.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.