PEORIA, Ariz. -- Robert Andino had finally established himself, proving his worth to a team that had gone from also-ran to a surprising shot at contention. And now he has to do it again. Andino, who came over to Seattle in a trade from Baltimore last winter, is ready for the challenge.
"It came as a little shock, but it's in the past," said Andino of being traded to Seattle. "I'm here just trying to fit in and getting to know all the guys. It's a new beginning. It's always good to start fresh."
Andino, just 28 years old, had been traded once before. The infielder was originally drafted by his hometown team, the Marlins, and sent to Baltimore in a 2009 Spring Training trade.
The youngster had only played in 79 games at that point, and he wanted nothing more than a chance to prove himself. Baltimore provided that opportunity and Andino capitalized, logging 360 games over the last four years and carving out a role as a utility infielder who can play the light side of a platoon.
Andino batted just .211 last season, though -- 28 points below his career numbers as an Oriole -- and the Mariners acquired him in exchange for outfielder Trayvon Robinson. Now, Andino is trying to prove himself to a new team while battling for playing time with infielders such as Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley.
"He's a great complement to the guys we have here," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. "He's still working his way in here with this particular club, but he's a good ballplayer."
Andino started at shortstop and helped turn a key double play in the early innings on Saturday, and he said before the game that he's willing to do whatever it takes to help the team. He's even added the outfield to his resume in recent seasons, a testament to his versatility and athleticism.
"I just want to win. That's all that's on my mind," Andino said. "I see something good happening here. We've got a great group of guys, veterans and good young talent. We're an underdog this year, just like we were an underdog in Baltimore last year. If we do what we're supposed to do, we'll be all right."