Versatile Motter wants to matter to Mariners

Versatile Motter wants to matter to Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- It's easy to spot Taylor Motter on the Mariners practice field, his long locks flowing out from the cap as he moves easily among his teammates. What isn't easy is figuring out exactly where he's lining up, since the 27-year-old Florida native plays virtually anywhere on the field.

Motter, acquired from the Rays in November, has played every position in his pro career, except catcher. And even there, he has donned the gear and done his part.

"I caught bullpens in Double-A a couple years ago, so I've hit every one," Motter said. "I have not caught in a game yet. Let's keep that one low on the goal totem pole."

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound utility man even pitched one game in relief last year for the Rays, giving up a hit and then getting the final out in a 10-2 loss to the Tigers on July 1. So, yeah, he's pretty much seen and done it all in his pro career and now is eager to find a niche with his new team in Seattle, where he's competing with Shawn O'Malley and Mike Freeman for the utility role.

Motter gets an out as a pitcher

"It's a fresh start, a fresh beginning," Motter said. "I like the opportunity and the chances here and am excited to be here every day."

His primary goal is simple.

"I'm here to help this team win and not get to 161 like they did last year," Motter said. "I want to help this team move forward and get to the playoffs. I want to help. I know that."

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Though he hit just .188 in 80 at-bats for the Rays as a rookie last season, Motter owns a career .272/.349/.428 line in the Minors. The Mariners like his potential as a right-handed hitting option with the ability to play left field in conjunction with lefty-swinging Jarrod Dyson, as well as back up anywhere needed.

"To be the super-utility guy, you've got to play short and you'll see him there some, which I believe is his natural position [going] back to his college days," manager Scott Servais said. "He's very capable at short. He's got range, he's got plenty of arm and his instincts are really good.

"Off of that, the other positions kind of come. You'll see him in the outfield. There's no doubt you'll see him in left field quite a bit. You may even see him some at first base, depending how it plays out. If we need to pinch-run him late and don't want to burn another player on top of it, he could pinch-run and go in and play some defense at first base. So you'll see a little bit of everything this spring with him."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.