SEATTLE — The Mariners took a small step into the burgeoning Cuban talent pool recently by signing utilityman Dayner Moreira to a minor-league contract.
Moreira, 32, spent time with the Cuban national team before defecting last year after the Caribbean World Series. He will report to the Mariners’ minor-league mini-camp, which begins Feb. 21 in Peoria, Ariz.
"What you have is a 32-year-old who can really, really run," said Tom Allison, the club’s vice president of player personnel. "He’s got multi-positional flexibility. 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."
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Moreira is a slasher-type hitter who draws comparisons to Pedro Ciriaco, a six-year veteran who recently signed with Texas. Moreira agreed to a standard minor-league contract that did not include a signing bonus.
"He hasn’t played active games in a year," Allison said. "That’s why we’re going to bring him in early (to mini-camp). We’re trying to add depth and flexibility. That’s one thing he can do."