Free agency doesn't really start until tomorrow, and while everyone else is slapping down qualifying offers on soon-to-be free agents, the Mariners are making a waiver claim of their own to replace a 40-man spot recently vacated by Justin Smoak.
Carlos Rivero, a journeyman minor league utility player, comes over from Boston after his cup of coffee resulted in a .571/.625/1.286 line through just 8 PA with the Red Sox. He spent most of the year in AA and AAA, and hardly impressed with a .264/.324/.379 line through 432 PA. He's 26, right-handed, and this will be his 5th major league organization.
Here's a look at his only major league home run, crushed over the monster in Fenway.
Bob Dutton points out that Rivero is having a nice fall in Venezuela, where he's playing for the Lara Cardinals. He's hit 6 home runs in 17 games, and is hitting .313.
Rivero clearly doesn't appear to be a fit in the organization for now with Willie Bloomquist monopolizing next year's utility role, and he hasn't shown much ability to hit. At his age, the upside is minuscule, if not absent. He is quite flexible, having played every position except second base, catcher, and center field in the minors. He's primarily a third basemen these days, but still plays shortstop semi-frequently.
Rivero is flexible but has an unspectacular bat, and the Mariners might try to sneak him through their own set of waivers later on this winter to hold onto him for depth. For now, he joins the 40-man, which now sits at 35. Welcome, first offseason addition. May you anger dumb Mariner fans everywhere who somehow think the first move represents the most defining one of the winter. Here's your new Carlos Triunfel, everyone.