(1090 The Fan) – Days after designating pitcher Shawn Kelley for assignment, The Mariners have reached a deal with the Yankees to send Kelley to New York for outfielder Abraham Almonte.
Almonte, 23, spent last season primarily with Double-A Trenton in the Yankees organization. He hit .276 (88×319) 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 (574×2183) in 573 games. He was originally signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2005.
Almonte gives Seattle depth at the centerfielder position — and could presumably see a lot of playing time based on Franklin Gutierrez’ health issues.
Kelley, 28, had struck a one-year deal for $935,000 earlier this month with the Mariners to avoid arbitration.
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