Mariners add infielder in AAA Rule 5 Draft

The Mariners didn’t select anyone in the Major League portion of Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings, but did take second baseman Eric Farris from the Brewers organization in the Triple-A portion of the proceedings.

Farris, 26, played 13 games last season for the Brewers and went 1-for-8 with a run and a walk. He spent most of his season with Triple-A Nashville, batting .286 with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 131 games.

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik is familiar with the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder from his days as the Brewers scouting director.

“We drafted him in ’07 out of Loyola-Marymount in California,” Zduriencik said. “He’s a nice little middle infielder. He’s got some action and can run a little bit. We thought it was a very low-risk acquisition. We’ll give him a chance and see what happens.”

With their own 40-man roster full, the Mariners passed with their selection – the 11th pick overall – in the Major League portion of the Draft. Last year, Seattle took left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge from the Brewers and he wound up sticking with the club the entire year.

Zduriencik was pleased the Mariners didn’t lose anyone in the Draft. The club added five of its top eligible prospects to the 40-man roster last month in order to protect them.

“We’d heard rumors that a couple clubs were interested in taking our guys here or there and they didn’t, so that’s good,” he said. “We spent a lot of time managing the roster and it worked out pretty well.”
Major League officials announced that the Mariners 40-man roster was at 39 prior to the Draft, but Zduriencik said that was merely a technicality because recently acquired infielder Robert Andino has yet to take his physical to finalize the paperwork on the one-year deal he signed last week.

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