The Mariners have designated infielder Robert Andino for assignment and elevated shortstop Carlos Triunfel to the big league club. This seemingly simple transaction took some unusual twists and turns throughout the day.
Now that the dust has settled, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times recapped the series of events. As MLBTR explained earlier today, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs and U.S.S. Mariner tweeted that Andino had been placed on outright waivers to open a 40-man roster spot. A 40-man spot was needed to permit catcher Jesus Sucre to come up and replace the demoted Jesus Montero. However, that waiver move would not have cleared space on the team’s 40-man for 48 hours, the time required for Andino to clear waivers (unless he was claimed). Instead, Baker reported, the Mariners had intended to designate a minor leaguer for assignment to make way for Sucre, leaving Andino on the roster (at least for the time being). As Baker explains, the report of the Andino waiver move meant that the team would be dressing a player who would be (or, at least, believed he would be) out of a job shortly.
Later this afternoon, the Mariners announced that Andino had been designated for assignment, with Triunfel promoted to take his spot. (Baker reported the news first on Twitter.) By designating Andino, the club immediately cleared a 40-man spot for Sucre (who is also now on the active roster) and a 25-man spot for Triunfel (who already occupied a 40-man spot). Triunfel, however, had already flown out this morning with Triple-A Tacoma for the team’s game in Reno, NV. The youngster was then re-routed back to Seattle this afternoon.
This odd sequence leads Baker to infer that the M’s changed course after the Andino waiver news broke. As Baker notes, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said that he was already looking to bring up Triunfel. While Zduriencik would not confirm that Andino had been placed on waivers, he did say that no transaction had been made prior to today. Whether the reasons, as Baker explains, “what happened today is hardly routine.”
The net of Seattle’s dealings today is that Andino finds himself in DFA limbo, with the team having ten days to trade, outright, or release him. The 29-year-old Andino batted just .184/.253/.237 for the M's this season, appearing primarily at shortstop. He also has extensive big league experience at second base and has seen some time at third base. Andino was acquired by the Mariners from the Orioles in exchange for Trayvon Robinson back in November.
In parts of nine Major League seasons between the Marlins, Orioles and Mariners, Andino is a .232/.294/.318 hitter. He grades out as a plus defender -- particularly at second base -- according to both UZR and The Fielding Bible.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.