ARLINGTON -- The Rangers added significant speed to their outfield depth by claiming outfielder John Andreoli off waivers from the Mariners on Tuesday.
Andreoli also gives the club some international experience, having played for Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Andreoli was 6-for-19 with three home runs for Italy in the Classic. He is also described as a "football player in a baseball jersey."
Despite that show of power, Andreoli is more of a speed/defense/on-base guy. He is similar in that regard to Delino DeShields and Carlos Tocci, so Andreoli gives the Rangers some protection behind those two.
"He has good, aggressive makeup and instincts," Rangers pro scouting director Josh Boyd said. "He has demonstrated on-base skills and is a solid defender who can play all three outfield positions."
Andreoli, 28, is an eight-year veteran who made his Major League debut last season with the Mariners and Orioles. He played in a combined 26 games between the teams and, as a right-handed hitter, he batted .230 with a .284 on-base percentage and a .262 slugging percentage. At 29.8 feet per second, he had the fastest sprint speed of any left fielder in the Majors last season.
Andreoli was originally selected by the Cubs in the 17th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of the University of Connecticut. He became a Minor League free agent after the 2017 season and signed with the Mariners. The Orioles claimed him off waivers on Aug. 18 and the Mariners claimed him back after the season. The Mariners designated him for assignment on Jan. 10.
Andreoli has spent most of the past four seasons with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs and also with the Tacoma Rainiers in 2018. Over those four years, he played in 454 Triple-A games, hitting .264 with a .371 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage.
Andreoli also had 121 stolen bases, including 43 for Iowa in 2016. His career high is 55 with Class A Daytona of the Florida State League in '12. He has played all three outfield positions in the Minor Leagues with slightly more experience in left than the other two spots.
His father, John, is a former professional football player, while his two cousins, Daniel and Luke Bard, have both pitched in the Major Leagues.
But there is no guarantee the Rangers will be able to keep Andreoli on the 40-man roster. The club has 39 players on the roster and is still looking for more starting pitching, relievers and infield depth, especially at third base.