Trayvon Robinson says he knew “something” was going to happen. He was out of minor league options. The Mariners figured to trade him if they could find a partner. He just didn’t know when or where.
Robinson assumed it would happen at the Winter Meetings or shortly before spring training, not earlier this week.
“I’ve been kind of waiting,” he said yesterday.
“Hopefully, it’ll be a good thing for me,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for me to play every day and show what I’ve got.”
Robinson, 25, sounds excited about the chance to join the Orioles, though he’s also out of minor league options and will have to win a job in Sarasota. He’s batted .215/.272/.330 in 90 major league games over the past two seasons and made 39 starts in left field for the Mariners this summer.
The Orioles don’t have a set starter in left. They’d like to re-sign Nate McLouth, but at the right price (see what I did there?). They expect Nolan Reimold to be full-go, so he’s got a shot. They could bring in someone else.
Robinson might replace Endy Chavez as the fourth outfielder. All he knows is he’ll get a long look, and he’s joining the Orioles at an opportune time following their first winning season and playoff berth in 15 years.
“Absolutely,” he said. “From my standpoint, playing against that club this year, it had so much energy. They didn’t quit. And it goes to the top with the manager.
“I can’t wait to get started. I’m so anxious. I want to prove that I can play in the big leagues, and most important, help this team win. That’s my concern. And I know I can help this team win. I’ve just got to go out there and do my thing and take one positive thing home every day. It can be my glove, it can be my legs, it can be my bat. I’ve just got to go out there and keep battling.”
Robinson welcomes the chance to play for manager Buck Showalter.
“I’m excited about that,” he said. “One of my favorite teams was the Texas Rangers when he was managing over there. I knew he liked hard-nosed players. That’s me. And playing against him last year, every guy on their team had one goal - not quit and fight to the end. Especially in that 18-inning game.”
Robinson laughed at the recollection. It still seems absurd that they played for so long, but it was just another extra-inning game that ended in their favor.
“That comes from just being a team together,” Robinson said. “Togetherness starts with the manager, and the front office, too.”
Robinson will be reunited with pitcher Steve Johnson, his first roommate in the Dodgers’ organization.
“I can’t wait,” he said. “I’m just glad I don’t have to face his fastball anymore. The ‘invisiball.’ I’m excited. We used to talk about this all the time back in rookie ball. When he got traded away, I was kind of sad. We all wanted to be in the big leagues together, and to stick around.”
Robinson hasn’t been assigned a number yet. I know you were wondering.
“It really doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I like something with a 2 in there. I’ve always had a 2 in my number - 21, 22, 20. Something with a 2 because of Jackie Robinson.”
That’s it from me, folks. At least for now. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
I’m thankful for everyone who reads this blog and follows me on Twitter (@MASNroch). I’m also thankful for my family and friends, cranberry sauce that jiggles out of a can and women who overlook all of my faults, of which there are many (faults, not women.)
It’s OK if they jiggle, too.
Enjoy the day and be safe if you’re traveling.