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Blanco to lead as veteran player, or rookie coach

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- One way or the other, it seems, Henry Blanco will be with the D-backs this year.

The 42-year-old veteran catcher was invited to camp as a non-roster player, and he will be battling Tuffy Gosewisch for the backup spot behind Miguel Montero.

Should Blanco not win that competition, it appears the team will hire him to be its assistant hitting coach. The D-backs did not fill that role this past offseason after making overtures to Blanco about it.

"We'll see how that works out," Blanco said. "Right now I've got my mind on trying to make this club as a player, and we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks."

Blanco played for the D-backs in 2011 and 2012 before departing via free agency, and the team was eager to bring his leadership back to the clubhouse in some capacity.

Blanco had other offers this past offseason, but he chose the D-backs because of the relationships he had built during his previous stint with the organization.

"Obviously this is the place," Blanco said. "This is the place I want to be, and hopefully everything works out good. We won the division here two years ago, and it was pretty special."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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