The Seattle Mariners have dipped into the Cuban talent pool, signing utility man Dainer Moreira to a minor league contract just three weeks before the team’s minor league minicamp in Peoria, Arizona, per Bob Dutton of the News Tribune.
Mariners vice president of player personnel Tom Allison hasn’t determined where Moreira will fit, but the new signee's versatility intrigues him, per Dutton.
"What you have is a 32-year-old who can really, really run. He’s got multipositional flexibility," he said. "He can play short. He can play third. We’ve never seen him in the outfield. Maybe he can run out to left field. Maybe he can be another depth option."
Moreira defected from Cuba in February 2015 after competing in the Caribbean World Series, hoping to enjoy the same success many of his countrymen such as Yasiel Puig, Jose Abreu and Yoenis Cespedes have seen in the majors.
Moreira isn’t at their level yet and will likely need extended time in the minors to adjust—particularly since he hasn’t played in a game since leaving the Cuban national team.
"That’s why we’re going to bring him in early [to minicamp]," Allison said. "We’re trying to add depth and flexibility. That’s one thing he can do."
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