Mariners Add Veteran Outfielder On Triple-A Deal

A SB Nation reporter says that the Mariners have signed outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis to a minor league contract – much to the chagrin of our PR guy Brett, who will have to spell that all of the time.

Nieuwenhuis has played all or parts of six major league seasons, with the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers. He’s been a reserve outfielder in the majors. He has some power and is a good defensive player, but he hits for a low average and strikes out a lot. In recent seasons he has been drawing a lot of walks, helping his OBP and bringing extra value.

In the Pacific Coast League, Nieuwenhuis has played for both Las Vegas (2013-15) and Colorado Springs (2017).

This year the 30-year-old Nieuwenhuis appeared in 84 games for Colorado Springs, hitting .244 with a .366 on-base percentage. He hit four home runs in 205 at-bats, which was a surprisingly low total for him (he hit 13 homers in the majors for Milwaukee in 2016, in 335 at-bats).

I suspect the Mariners appreciate the fact that Nieuwenhuis can play all three outfield positions, as well as his major league experience. Nieuwenhuis will go to spring training and compete for the fourth or fifth outfielder spot, with a season-opening assignment in Tacoma a strong possibility.

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