BALTIMORE -- Dealing with a surplus of middle infielders, the Orioles traded Robert Andino to the Mariners for outfielder Trayvon Robinson on Tuesday afternoon.
The 25-year-old Robinson, an alum of the Compton Urban Youth Academy, played 46 games for the Mariners last season, making 39 starts (all in left field), batting .221 with 16 runs, four doubles, three homers, 12 RBIs and six steals. He appeared in 46 of the Mariners' final 60 games after spending most of the early season with Triple-A Tacoma, where he hit .265 with nine homers and 41 RBIs, with a .740 OPS, in 83 games.
"What we like about Robinson is his speed, his legs and power potential," Dan Duquette, executive vice president of baseball operations, said of the trade, which gives the Orioles -- who lost Endy Chavez and Nate McLouth to free agency this winter -- some outfield depth. "[Robinson] plays good defense, particularly in left field. He needs to make a little better contact in the big leagues. He made good contact in the Minors and in Triple-A, but it hasn't really translated yet."
Robinson, whom the Mariners acquired from the Red Sox in a Trade Deadline deal in 2011, got the phone call from Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik early Tuesday morning with the news. It wasn't a surprise for Robinson, who is out of Minor League options -- meaning he would have to clear waivers if he doesn't make the big league team this spring -- and was in an organization filled with outfielders.
"The Orioles, they want me. I feel like there's opportunity," said Robinson, who spoke with MLB.com shortly after hearing from Duquette. "They are planning on giving me a look, giving me some at-bats, to try to help the team win. All I'm asking for is a chance; I think it'll be a better situation."
Baltimore has made no secret of the fact that adding an outfielder -- to play left field in particular -- was on the offseason agenda, and Duquette said that trading for Robinson doesn't rule out a return for McLouth. The Orioles are expecting that Nolan Reimold -- last year's Opening Day left fielder -- will be fully recovered from the season-ending surgery on his neck.
"I think the important thing is [that] the club addressed the need in the outfield, the need for additional outfield depth," Duquette said. "It's a possibility [that we'll sign another outfielder], but in Trayvon Robinson we have an outfielder that has speed and some power. He needs to improve his on-base capabilities."
Robinson who was glad to hear from his new GM so quickly, said that he is comfortable anywhere in the outfield and credits Mariners teammate Chone Figgins with helping his development as a big leaguer this past season. A former Dodgers prospect, Robinson had as his first roommate pitcher Steve Johnson -- the two have remained friends -- and he's familiar with manager Buck Showalter, having grown up a Rangers fan and watching Showalter in the dugout from 2003 to 2006.
"I know that he's going to make you play the game right, and that's all I pretty much need to know," Robinson said of his new manager.
"When we played against [the Orioles], I felt they had a pretty good energetic team. For me, it's a good fit. The way I play the game, I hustle, run into things and try to beat the opponent any way I can. The way they played against us, they didn't quit. I don't quit either. We'll see what happens. I have a good feeling it's going to be a good year again."
Arguably, no Oriole player matured more under Showalter than the 28-year-old Andino, who hit .211 with 41 runs, 13 doubles, seven home runs and 28 RBIs in 127 games in 2012. Andino -- who assumed the bulk of second-base duties in lieu of Brian Roberts the past three seasons -- is best known for delivering the walk-off RBI single that kept the Red Sox out of the 2011 playoffs. He was also well liked in the clubhouse. But the addition of Alexi Casilla, who was claimed off waivers earlier this season, crowded an infield picture that also features Roberts, Ryan Flaherty and Omar Quintanilla.
"Robert did a good job and helped us turn around the team," Duquette said of Andino, who is also arbitration-eligible and could have been nontendered at the end of the month. "We appreciated that. Casilla has plus-plus range and plus-plus speed, which I think is [beneficial] to the ballclub."