Norton in situation where he's wanted
Backup infielder thrilled to get his chance with Braves
ATLANTA -- After Greg Norton was designated for assignment on Wednesday by the Mariners, he knew he would land somewhere.
Norton had to -- for his children's sake.
Norton, who was acquired by the Braves on Monday for a player to be named later or cash considerations, said his sole goal this season was to have his young kids -- Jacen, 2, Ciana, 1 -- see their father play in the big leagues.
"I'm happy these guys picked me up, and hopefully, my kids can come check out Turner Field," Norton said.
If they do travel from their home in Colorado, they'll see Norton in many late-game situations. He will likely become the Braves' primary pinch-hit option, and he can play both corner infield positions.
The Mariners no longer found a need for Norton, because they had a solid designated hitter in Jose Vidro, and they wanted to add a pinch-runner and defensive replacement from Triple-A Tacoma. In six games with the Mariners this season, Norton went 7-for-16 with four RBIs.
The Braves showed interest in the switch-hitting 35-year-old during Spring Training, but when it became clear that the Mariners wouldn't trade him, the Braves opted for Scott Spiezio.
Norton last played against Oakland on April 27, when he went 1-for-4. In the previous game against the A's, he went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
"I wasn't upset," said Norton, a career .253 hitter. "Seattle gave me a shot to show that I was healthy again."
Norton needed surgery last spring to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He also underwent surgery after the season to repair a balky left elbow. Norton said he feels great now, and he's looking forward to contributing off the bench.
It's a role Norton said that he is comfortable with, having done so with Colorado from 2001-03. He played no fewer than 113 games in each of his three seasons with the Rockies, but his playing time has significantly decreased since then.
In arguably his best season with the Rays in 2006, Norton hit .296 with 17 home runs.
When the Rays didn't pick up his option, Norton signed with the Mariners this offseason, and he started the year with Tacoma.
Norton does have a propensity to strike out during his career, recording 544 in 2,163 career at-bats.
"It's getting that routine down, getting used to doing it again," Norton said. "I have prepared myself being that pinch-hitter late in the game. It's not going to be a foreign thing to me."
Ryan Lavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.