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Seattle claims OF prospect Siri off waivers

@gregjohnsmlb
February 3, 2020

SEATTLE -- With right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss at least the start of the regular season as he recovers from sports hernia surgery, the Mariners made a move to add some outfield depth by claiming 24-year-old Jose Siri off waivers from the Reds on Monday. To make room

SEATTLE -- With right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss at least the start of the regular season as he recovers from sports hernia surgery, the Mariners made a move to add some outfield depth by claiming 24-year-old Jose Siri off waivers from the Reds on Monday.

To make room on their 40-man roster, the Mariners designated right-handed reliever Matt Festa for assignment and now have seven days to trade, release or outright Festa to the Minor Leagues.

Although he was ranked as the Reds’ No. 15 prospect by MLB Pipeline last season, Cincinnati designated Siri for assignment last Monday after signing free-agent outfielder Nick Castellanos.

Siri is considered an excellent defensive center fielder with a strong arm, and he was the Reds’ Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2017 after a big season for Class A Dayton. There, he displayed an impressive combination of power and speed by batting .293/.341/.530 with 24 homers and 46 stolen bases in 126 games.

But after tearing ligaments in his left thumb crashing into the center-field wall in the Reds’ first Cactus League game of 2018, Siri missed several months and has struggled offensively since his return. He split last season between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville, hitting a combined .237/.300/.357 with 11 homers and 26 stolen bases in 131 games.

Siri has a Minor League option remaining, so he could be sent to Triple-A Tacoma or Double-A Arkansas without being exposed to waivers if he doesn’t make the Mariners’ 26-man roster, where he figures to compete with prospects Jake Fraley and Braden Bishop for playing time in right field in Haniger’s absence or as a backup to Mallex Smith in center.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.