SEATTLE — Still seeking some right-handed punch, the Mariners reached agreement Wednesday on a minor-league deal with veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin, who was released last week by Atlanta.
Quentin, 32, will report to Triple-A Tacoma but could be a quick promotion candidate — perhaps as a platoon partner at first base with Logan Morrison, a left-handed hitter.
That would represent a new position for Quentin, who has only played the outfield in his nine-year career. He is also a candidate to spend time as the designated hitter.
The Braves acquired Quentin from San Diego in the April 5 deal that sent All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to the Padres.
Quentin was included in that trade as a salary dump by the Padres and was quickly designated by the Braves for assignment. He was released April 14 after clearing waivers.
While Quentin is guaranteed $8 million this season under terms of a three-year extension signed with the Padres in 2012, the Mariners will only pay a pro-rated portion of the $507,500 major-league minimum. His deal with the Mariners includes a May 12 opt-out if not on the big-league roster.
Quentin battled chronic knee problems in recent years, which limited him to fewer than 90 games in each of the last three seasons. He batted just .177 last season in 50 games for the Padres with four homers and 18 RBIs.
The Mariners appear willing to gamble that Quentin can handle limited duties and point to his spring performance, when he played 14 games for the Padres and went 10-for-40 with one homer and six RBIs.
Quentin’s best seasons came from 2008-11 with the Chicago White Sox, when he averaged 27 homers and 80 RBIs.
Mariners lefty James Paxton took a beating Wednesday without throwing a pitch.
Major League Baseball reversed a scoring decision from Sunday’s game against Texas by taking an error away from shortstop Willie Bloomquist and crediting Elvis Andrus with a hit.
That change added five earned runs — five! — to Paxton’s line, which boosted his season’s ERA from 5.40 to 8.40 (14 earned runs in 15 innings).
***MLB also credited Austin Jackson with a single in the April 15 game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.
That scoring change removed an error from first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and boosted Jackson’s average from .250 to .268.
SHAKE ‘EM UP
Seth Smith batted leadoff in Wednesdays’s series finale as the McClendon opted for his 14th different lineup in 15 games.
Manager Lloyd McClendon cited a ongoing search for the best combination along with attempting to generate the best individual match-ups against opposing pitchers.
The only lineup used more than once is Jackson, Smith, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, Morrison, Dustin Ackley, Mike Zunino and Brad Miller.
That unit went 1-1 with an 8-7 victory on April 12 at Oakland and a 3-1 loss on April 17 vs. Texas.
An update on that mythical Mount Rushmore that MLB wants every club to build: The Mariners’ early leaders, in order, are Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson and Felix Hernandez.
Balloting for what MLB terms the “Franchise Four” continues for all clubs through May 8 at www.MLB.com/FranchiseFour.
The Mariners’ other candidates are Jay Buhner, Alvin Davis, Jamie Moyer and Ichiro Suzuki.
Johnson also leads Arizona’s balloting to determine its Franchise Four.
The four winners for each franchise will be announced July 14 in pre-game ceremonies at the All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
It was six years ago Thursday — April 23, 2009 — that Ichiro Suzuki opened the bottom of the first inning with a home run that provided all of the scoring in a 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay at Safeco Field.
Suzuki’s homer enabled Felix Hernandez to outduel Rays ace James Shields. Hernandez worked seven innings before David Aardsma and Brandon Morrow completed the shutout.
Mike Zunino has played in all 15 of the Mariners’ games, including 13 as a starter. Entering Wednesday, only two other catchers had played all of their club’s games: Salvy Perez of the Royals and Chris Iannetta of the Angels…All but one of the Mariners’ games, through Tuesday, had been decided by three runs or less….Kyle Seager was 5-for-8 through Tuesday when batting with runners in scoring position. Dating to last June 2, he is batting .339 (37-for-109) with runners in scoring position.
The Mariners have an open date Thursday before concluding their nine-game homestand with three weekend games against the Minnesota Twins.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez (2-0. 2.37) will pitch the series opener against Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes (0-3, 5.3) at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Safeco Field.
The game can be seen on Root Sports and heard on 710 ESPN.