The Mariners announced that they’ve claimed infielder/outfielder Andrew Romine off waivers from the Tigers. He would’ve had the opportunity to elect free agency had he not been claimed. Seattle’s 40-man roster is now at 35 players after also declining options on Hisashi Iwakuma and Yovani Gallardo.
Romine, 32 in December, has been one of the Tigers’ most versatile players in recent years. He’s played all over the diamond for Detroit since coming over from the Angels, including a game at the end of the 2017 season in which he played all nine spots on the field. Despite that Swiss-army-knife-esque profile, though, Romine hasn’t drawn strong reviews from defensive metrics for his infield work, though he has been viewed more favorably in a smallish sample of work in the outfield.
The benefit the Tigers see in his defensive flexibility clearly was outweighed by his lack of offensive production and projected arbitration price point, however. Romine batted just .233/.289/.336 through 348 plate appearances this season and has hit .236/.293/.313 (66 OPS+) overall in parts of four years with the Tigers. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected him to earn $1.9MM via arbitration.
It remains to be seen if the Mariners will keep Romine on the 40-man roster all winter, but he’s presently a candidate to compete with Taylor Motter for a utility role next spring.