Heredia signs one-year contract with Mariners

Heredia signs one-year contract with Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Guillermo Heredia, a 25-year-old center fielder from Cuba, signed a one-year contract with the Mariners after completing his physical exam on Tuesday, and he is expected to take part in workouts for the first time on Wednesday.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mariners placed catcher Jesus Sucre on the 60-day disabled list. Sucre broke his fibula playing winter ball in Venezuela in January, and he is expected to be sidelined for at least six months.

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Heredia, who defected from Cuba in January 2015, signed for the Major League minimum of $507,000, according to sources.

Heredia agreed to the deal several days ago and has been at Mariners camp and in their clubhouse, but the club didn't officially announce his signing until Tuesday when all the paperwork was completed.

Heredia played five years in Cuba before defecting to Mexico last year. He hit .285 with 57 doubles, 15 triples and 23 home runs in 374 games over six seasons for Matanzas in Cuba, and he is regarded as an excellent defender.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was Cuba's starting center fielder in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, hitting .167 (3-for-18) with two runs and two walks.

Because he hasn't played in nearly two years, Heredia likely will begin the season in the Minor Leagues, but the Mariners are hopeful he could eventually become a backup outfield candidate or potential center-field partner with Leonys Martin.

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