M’s Trade Trayvon Robinson for Robert Andino

Dave · November 20, 2012 at 10:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Well, that didn’t take long. A few hours after I said to expect a trade of Trayvon Robinson or Mike Carp, the Mariners shipped Robinson to Baltimore for infielder Robert Andino. Acquiring Andino doesn’t help them with their roster decisions today, but he can fill the utility infielder/backup SS spot on the roster, and could actually be okay in that role.

He was pretty lousy for the Orioles last year, but overall, his career numbers suggest that he’s a decent enough reserve infielder. He’s a career .235/.296/.323 hitter, which isn’t great, but he can actually play shortstop, and believe it or not, there aren’t that many big league shortstops who can post a .300 OBP anymore. For instance, last year, the Mariners gave this roster spot to Munenori Kawasaki, and you probably don’t need a reminder as to how dreadful he was.

Overall, his total package has been worth +1 WAR in 1,400 career plate appearances, so he’s marginally better than the kind of guy you’d expect to grab on waivers. He’s arbitration eligible for a second time, but given his lousy 2012 season, he won’t get much of a raise, and will probably make $1.5 to $2.0 million in salary next year. He’s not any kind of long term solution or a huge upgrade, but he’ll make the team a little bit better on days when Brendan Ryan can’t go than they were last year.

Robinson going away isn’t any kind of loss. He simply doesn’t have the kind of skillset that works in the big leagues. Low contact/low power is a bad recipe for offensive success, and Robinson’s putrid throwing arm limited to left field, so he wasn’t even capable of defending multiple positions or playing an up-the-middle spot. He’s a fifth outfielder at best, and the Mariners shouldn’t have had any interest in trying to squeeze him onto the roster this spring. Since he was out of options, they were eventually just going to pass him through waivers, so this way, they turn him into something that might be marginally useful instead.

It’s basically a lateral move, but it’s a lateral move that gives them a Major League backup SS, which they didn’t have previously. Call it the smallest of small victories.


34 Responses to “M’s Trade Trayvon Robinson for Robert Andino”

  1. 9inningknowitall on November 20th, 2012 10:36 am

    This was a small deal but it was nice to see a SS added. He wont be too much of an investment to drop if Franklin comes up at some point during the season. Plus as an added bonus we don’t have to hear about Robinson taking time from other players.

  2. thurston24 on November 20th, 2012 10:37 am

    That’s nice as I wasn’t the biggest Robinson fan and this guy sounds better than Kawasaki.

  3. fwbrodie on November 20th, 2012 10:42 am

    Lil-Rod says “Ouch.”

  4. bat guano on November 20th, 2012 10:45 am

    And since Andino occasionally has played the outfield, methinks we’re a baby step closer to cutting Figgy!

  5. Carson on November 20th, 2012 10:48 am

    The Chone Figgins Liberation is one step closer.

    Here’s to hoping Dave turns a hat trick with a third post on the day.

  6. Mariners35 on November 20th, 2012 10:53 am

    Andino is more than I would have expected Robinson to get on his own. I’d always thought Robinson would be a throw-in on a deal with significant players, or would figure it out, or would fade away. And as others noted, having a utility infielder even in name lets the organization do the needful with Figgins.

    Andino won’t have even 1% of Kawasaki’s charm, though.

  7. Sports on a Shtick on November 20th, 2012 11:00 am

    Way better than the last trade with Baltimore.

    The M’s have a plethora of decent/replacement outfielders. Swapping Robinson for a slight upgrade over Kawasaki? Why not?

  8. _Hutch_ on November 20th, 2012 11:03 am

    Not that Robinson is a huge loss and there’s obviously value in depth, but what does Andino provide that Triunfel or Luis Rodriguez doesn’t? And I know there’s still some questions about his defense and whether the bat’s ready for AAA/majors, but the obsessive prospect follower part of my fandom was hoping that Franklin would have a shot at the reserve middle infielder spot next year. Hopefully all four are given a shot at the roster spot in the spring.

  9. taylor.mariner on November 20th, 2012 11:11 am

    ” Robinson’s putrid throwing arm ” I got a pretty fat chuckle out of that. We sure did see the ball end up in some weird places on the field after he threw it. At the same time you could make quite the high light reel out of some of the catches his made in left. But I’m glad to see him go, and will hopefully be really glad later today when Chone Figgins goes too 😉

  10. bookbook on November 20th, 2012 11:15 am

    Franklin won’t make the roster as a reserve to rust on the bench. Triunfel might match Andino with the bat, but can’t with the glove. Rodriguez is a legit option but also, what, 6 years older than Andino and never having established he belongs in the majors? Andino would have to be the prohibitive favorite as the fifth infielder based on all who are available at this point. A lot can change by March.

  11. Westside guy on November 20th, 2012 11:16 am

    Okay, okay, so Andino is an honest-to-goodness MLB bench player. Big deal. Let’s get to the important stuff…

    How’s his dugout dancing?

  12. Paul B on November 20th, 2012 11:16 am

    Not that Robinson is a huge loss and there’s obviously value in depth, but what does Andino provide that Triunfel or Luis Rodriguez doesn’t?

    Fielding ability at SS, primarily.

  13. Philly M's fan on November 20th, 2012 11:17 am

    This pretty much guarentees he becomes and all-star or wins a World Series in the next couple of years. Funny how a lot of players the M’s trade or get rid of become such valuable players with other teams.

  14. wsm on November 20th, 2012 11:24 am

    Interesting that the M’s didn’t just claim Casilla. Baltimore seems to think he’s the better backup IF option and the numbers seem to back that up. He’s a tad cheaper too but only has one year left before free agency.

  15. cebo04 on November 20th, 2012 11:25 am

    I’ve lived in B’more for the last six years and while Andino isn’t a great player, the O’s fans really liked this guy. He’s certainly not very good with the stick, but if we can spell our middle infielders for a game here and there with him it’s not bad. Plus he’s got a little speed. I think it’s a no risk pick up with a little more upside if he finds his inner 2011.

  16. ManifestDestiny on November 20th, 2012 11:41 am

    A “lateral” move maybe, but Andino’s due at least $1.5mil next year. Between he, Iwakuma and Perez, Z has already spent $10mil of the offseason budget on these 3.

    Lookin’ good Jack.

  17. Grant on November 20th, 2012 11:47 am

    Is Andino better than Luis Rodriguez who we could have in the back-up shortstop role for the league minimum?

  18. HighBrie on November 20th, 2012 11:54 am

    I thought we were grooming Carlos Triunfel to be Robert Andino at half the cost What happened? I thought that’s what failed prospects were for.

  19. Dave on November 20th, 2012 11:57 am

    Carlos Triunfel can’t hit AAA pitching. He’s not a Major League player.

    Luis Rodriguez is more of a 2B/3B than an SS.

    Putting Nick Franklin into a part-time bench role is stupid.

  20. Jordan on November 20th, 2012 12:24 pm

    ^^Dave, I agree w/ your take on those three, but isn’t paying Andino 1.5-2 Mil stupid too? I mean on a contender he’s valuable at that price, but on the Mariners that don’t typically stretch their spending?

  21. gwangung on November 20th, 2012 12:46 pm

    but isn’t paying Andino 1.5-2 Mil stupid too?

    Why is it stupid?

    You’re paying for performance at a particular level. Can we find similar performance (defensive AND offense) for a cheaper price? If not, then it’s not stupid.

  22. goat on November 20th, 2012 12:55 pm

    But this would allow us to DFA Figgins, which might save half a million if somebody makes a claim. So we’d only be paying him about two or three times the league minimum. So if he’s twice as good as replacement level it’s worth it. Because two times zero is still equal to zero, it would be a good deal even if he’s replacement level. Win win situation.

  23. kazuc on November 20th, 2012 1:54 pm

    Mariners pay 1.5-2 Mil for a guy who likely would have been non-tendered, and for him trade a guy who doesn’t belong on a 40-man roster. Ho hum. Must be a slow news day.

  24. californiamariner on November 20th, 2012 2:39 pm

    I was excited as anyone when the Mariners signed Triunfel and he was touted as a future star player, but it is way past the point to where people need to get over him already.

  25. bfgboy on November 20th, 2012 2:46 pm

    Triunfel just turned 22; while he is not the answer right now, “getting over him” seems to be a tad premature.

  26. Johnny Slick on November 20th, 2012 3:02 pm

    He just seems older because he’s been with the M’s since approximately 1993.

  27. bookbook on November 20th, 2012 3:10 pm

    What are the odds Triunfel turns into any kind of major leaguer at this point? I know he seems to have stalled out, but should age be expected to eventually push him over the marginal player line?

  28. jwgrandsalami on November 20th, 2012 3:58 pm

    Andino is the kind of guy you sign for $750,000 to $1 million AFTER he gets non-tendered by the Orioles in 10 days. But, as Dave points out, the team was eventually going to pass Robinson thru waivers. Basically, it seems like the M’s made this deal because it now looks like they got something for Robinson (who was the “high profile, close to the Majors, good stats in AAA” return for Erik Bedard) when in reality all they got was the right to overpay a .200 hitting backup infielder (or non-tender him in 10 days). If they’d just DFA’d Robinson to make room on the 40-man that would have looked bad for Jack Z.

    I’ve always been a Zduriencik supporter, but this move, coupled with his ridiculous explanation of the Mariners’ chase of Prince Fielder, has me questioning whether too much exposure to Chuck Armstrong has worn off on Jack. In case you missed it, when asked a few weeks ago how hard the M’s went after Fielder last winter, Jack said “I had lots of conversation with Scott (Boras) trying to get him to take a one-year deal so Prince could rebuild his value like Adrian Beltre did when he signed with Boston.”

  29. jwgrandsalami on November 20th, 2012 4:05 pm

    I’ve been wondering myself if this acquisition is a precursor to including Dustin Ackley in a trade for Justin Upton. Fills the spot with a guy who’s been a starter in MLB, albeit not a good one, while allowing the team to acquire that corner outfield masher they so desperately desire.

    I certainly hope not, as I still have high expectations for Ackley, but including Ackley in such a deal could be a move Zdrueincik feels he needs to make if he doesn’t think management will put up the money for any of the corner outfield free agents or he feels like none of those guys want to come to Seattle. Obviously Zduriencik knows how much management is willing to spend to sign a guy like Nick Swisher and he also surely knows by now how the team’s overtures towards Swisher and other free agent outfielders have been received by the agents for those players.

    I know it’s easy to pin this all on upper management, but it does really suck if the GM feels he has to overpay to trade for what he needs because agents and free agents are well aware that the M’s haven’t made much effort to contend in the last half decade. If Zduriencik and Co haven’t been able to sell the fanbase on their “plan” to get back to contention, it seems unlikely, barring more than one big move this winter, that they’ll be able to convince those agents and free agents that they have a solid plan to win.

  30. BackRub on November 20th, 2012 4:32 pm

    Liked to be the first to post about LaHair being released by Cubs. Possibility he’ll go to Japan, but if not there is still a question if would fit on this team. His stats last year were inflated by an unsustainable BABIP, but he looks like he could be an above average hitter vs RHP. Not a lot of upside given his age, but he might be a decent stopgap. Question is whether he is an improvement over Carp. Doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade. Would still rather see him or Carp start the year on the team than Smoak. Might prefer the recently DFAed Clint Robinson to either of them, and Clint might not require a 40-man spot unless he makes the team out of spring training.

  31. bfgboy on November 20th, 2012 4:36 pm

    Jw, I said the same thing when they put Franklin at second. Why would you put your best position prospect at a spot where you have another highly regarded, young guy? With that said, I can’t imagine that Z would sell so low on Ackley.

  32. cjseattle on November 20th, 2012 4:54 pm

    There’s a part of me (regretfully) that sees this move as backup in case Ackley struggles for another half season and has to go to AAA. We have to have someone major league capable who can man second base (and hoping it can be Franklin is just wishful thinking). We are seriously short on major league depth. I see this as a (decidedly minor) upgrade.

  33. stevemotivateir on November 20th, 2012 6:38 pm

    The move for Andino has nothing to do with concern over Ackley. Don’t read into this as more than simply a move for a utility infielder.

  34. mwb on November 21st, 2012 12:22 am

    all they got was the right to overpay a .200 hitting backup infielder

    So that makes him about the #5 slot in the M’s line-up?

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