Seattle Mariners Continue Roster Churn, Claim Vincej from Reds

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 10: Zach Vincej
GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 10: Zach Vincej /

The Hot Stove season is less than 48 hours old and the Seattle Mariners are one of the most active teams in baseball… Again. Today, the Mariners claimed now former Cincinnati Reds prospect, Zach Vincej.

Vincej, a 26-year-old shortstop, was drafted by the Reds in the 37th round of the 2012 draft out of Pepperdine. He did win the Brooks Wallace Award, honoring the best collegiate shortstop. The right-handed bat is nothing special, though he does have a decent career slash of .272/.339/.361 in 5 minor league seasons.

However; what Vincej does poses is a plus glove. Vincej will enter the Mariners organization as perhaps it’s best defender, and easily its most skilled shortstop. In 2016, he won the Minor League Gold Glove, thanks in large part to his .991 fielding percentage.

Vincej tore up the Arizona Fall League in 2016, slashing .352/.425/.676 in 20 games. He added 4 home runs and an impressive 14:9 K/BB ratio. Vincej was sent to AAA Louisville, but was unable to continue his hot stretch in Arizona for a significant amount of time.

The claim brings the Mariner’s 40 man roster up to 37. His claim, coupled by the teams claim of Detroit Tigers utility man Andrew Romine may contain a hint at Seattle’s strategy this off-season.

The team appears to want to upgrade its utility man role. After a torrid start, Taylor Motter crashed back to earth, and his defense isn’t good enough to make up for his poor bat.

While neither Romine or Vincej are necessarily upgrades on Motter’s bat, they are superior defenders. The Mariners would like to add versatility to their roster, but they don’t  appear to be willing to spend money on it.

Next: Mariners Should Target These 4 Players in Trades

With at least  3 major holes to fill, and roughly $45 million to spend, GM Jerry Dipoto appears to be attempting to shave a few dollars from other places. Consequentially , Seattle has now claimed 2 utility players, as well as 2 catchers. It seems like Dipoto’s goal is to go cheap at backup C and utility man. Instead, he will focus the money onpitching, first base, and outfield.