Edgar Renteria expects to be the Reds’ starting shortstop

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Edgar Renteria’s one-year deal with Cincinnati is expected to be finalized soon and yesterday he told ESPN Deportes that “the opportunity to keep playing shortstop full time … was the main reason to accept the offer from the Reds.”

However, as Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes earlier this week–and prior to reaching an agreement with Renteria–general manager Walt Jocketty replied “absolutely” when asked if Paul Janish would be the Reds’ starting shortstop and added: “Whoever we sign will be more of a complementary player able to play different positions and have experience.”

Janish is a poor hitter with a good glove, so Renteria was going to push him for the starting job either way, but in the span of just a few days Jocketty apparently changed his mind on Janish’s role or oversold Renteria on his likely role.

UPDATE: Dusty Baker was told of Renteria’s expectation that he’ll start and replied that “they’re both going to play” and “Janish deserves a chance to be my shortstop.” Based on Baker’s history of loving veterans, my guess is Renteria will be the everyday shortstop by about April 5.

Mariners acquire Nick Rumbelow from Yankees

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The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.

The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.

Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.

Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.