The Mariners added another veteran outfielder to their mix.
The team agreed to a minor-league contract with the 38-year-old Jayson Werth, formerly of the Washington Nationals. The plan is to use him at least initially in Triple-A Tacoma after some time at extended spring training.
Werth, a free-agent after spending the last seven years with the Nationals, attracted the attention of Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto about a week a go, manager Scott Servais said Tuesday.
“I don’t have any history with Jayson, but looking from afar he’s been on a lot of winning teams, he knows how to play, he controls the strike zone very well, he’s a good, veteran presence in the clubhouse and he was looking for an opportunity to extend his career,” Servais said. “We felt we could get him some at-bats in the Triple-A level.
“He hasn’t had any spring training so it’s going to take him a little while but I’m excited to have him in the organization.”
Werth played 70 games win the Nationals last season, hitting .226 (57-for-252) with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. A lifetime .267 hitter with 229 career homers, he’s also played for the Phillies, Blue Jays and Dodgers.
He was an all-star in 2009 with the Phillies, slugging 36 home runs. Injuries have hampered him in recent seasons, as he’s failed to play in more than 88 games twice in the last three years.
Werth, known for his long hair and shaggy beard, has been in the playoffs nine times in his career, including the World Series twice, and won it all with the Phillies in 2008.
He turns 39 in May, and isn’t even the oldest outfielder in the Mariners’ organization. They also brought back 44-year-old Ichiro Suzuki while adding 30-year-old Kirk Nieuwenhuis and 27-year-old Cameron Perkins for organizational depth.
Werth's father, Dennis, played in 93 games for Tacoma in 1978 and hit .333 with 57 runs scored and 58 RBI.