SAN DIEGO -- Padres general manager Kevin Towers could have easily filled the vacancy for a backup catcher from within the organization or with someone other than 37-year-old Henry Blanco.
But Towers wasn't merely looking for a Sunday catcher -- someone who usually starts one day a week, collecting cobwebs sitting on the bench the other six days of the week.
Instead, Towers was looking for a mentor for 25-year-old catcher Nick Hundley, who impressed during his three-month stint last season after being recalled from Triple-A Portland.
So on Tuesday, Towers picked up the phone and called former Padres pitcher Greg Maddux to procure feedback on what kind of player, mentor and clubhouse presence Blanco was during their time together with the Cubs and Braves.
Apparently, Towers liked what he heard, and on Wednesday the Padres signed Blanco to a one-year deal for $750,000 to occasionally spell Hundley and provide mentorship to a player the Padres think very highly of.
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