Familiar face returns; Mariners sign Chris Woodward

The Mariners have signed infielder Chris Woodward to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

It’s a return to the Mariners for the 33-year-old, who signed with the M’s last offseason to give them infield depth. He spent much of his time at Class AAA Tacoma, but did play 20 games at the big-league level, batting .239.

The Mariners waived Woodward late in the season and he was claimed on Aug. 7 by the Red Sox. He played 13 games with Boston.

Nothing new to report on either the Casey Kotchman trade with the Red Sox or the contract extension for center fielder Franklin Gutierrez.

Kotchman is in Seattle today for his physical exam. Even after that is completed, the trade won’t go through until the Red Sox complete their signing of third baseman Adrian Beltre. Kotchman would come to the Mariners in exchange for utility Bill Hall, cash and possibly a minor league player.

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