The Mariners announced they’ve designated right-hander Vinny Nittoli for assignment. The move is apparently made with a trade in mind, as MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported (Twitter link) shortly before the team announcement that Nittoli was likely to be designated to buy time before he’s officially traded.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto acknowledged that another deal(s) was in the works after acquiring infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith from the Astros for relievers Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero this evening. Because Montero had previously been designated for assignment, the Mariners needed to clear a 40-man roster spot before tonight’s game against Houston. With Nittoli seemingly imminently headed elsewhere, there’s no harm for Seattle in removing him from the 40-man before that deal gets done.
The Mariners selected Nittoli to the roster last month, allowing him to make his major league debut on June 23. Other than that one appearance, he’s spent the season with Triple-A Tacoma. Through 28 2/3 innings with the Rainiers, the 30-year-old pitched to a 4.40 ERA with stellar strikeout and walk rates (31.7% and 5.0%, respectively).