Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners claim a shortstop (no, not THAT shortstop) from Cincinnati Reds

While most of them have been minor transactions, the Seattle Mariners are still staying busy so far in free agency.

The Mariners claimed infielder Zach Vincej (pronounced VINCE-ee) off waivers Friday from the Cincinnati Reds, pushing their total to 37 players on the 40-man roster.

Vincej was part of the Reds’ logjam at shorstop, stuck behind Zack Cozart (whom the M’s were rumored to be interested in the past two seasons) and Jose Peraza.

Who is he: Vincej is a 26-year-old shorstop, and California native who spent six seasons with the Reds organization. He played collegiately at Pepperdine University, and was a 37th-round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.

2017 statistics: .111 batting average in nine games as a September call-up with the Reds; .270 BA with 36 runs, 21 doubles, three home runs and 38 RBI in 110 games with Triple-A Louisville.

Why do the Mariners need him: Are there any other defensive-minded infielders occupying spots on Seattle’s 40-man roster? In 2016, Vincej’s .991 fielding percentage led all minor-league shorstops, and he was awarded the Minor League Rawlings Gold Glove Award because of it.

What will his projected role be next season: Could be a bench piece for the Mariners, but likely will open as the Rainiers starting shortstop.