Seattle Mariners – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-04-24T19:51:53Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Mike Wright]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156916 2019-04-24T18:01:04Z 2019-04-24T17:03:53Z The Mariners have acquired righty Mike Wright from the Orioles, per a club announcement. Infield Ryne Ogren will head to the Baltimore organization in return.

Wright was designated for assignment recently by the O’s. The out-of-options hurler will head onto the active roster for the M’s. He’ll need to remain there or be exposed to waivers.

The results haven’t been there for Wright, who carries a 5.95 ERA through 242 career frames in the majors. He has been hurt by the long ball this year, surrendering five in just 13 1/3 innings of work en route to a ghastly 9.45 ERA.

It’s not entirely clear what the Mariners hope to accomplish with the move beyond adding another arm to the stable. Perhaps their analytics department has an idea for how to squeeze improved results from his raw stuff, which includes a four-seam fastball that sits at around 94 mph.

As for Ogren, the 22-year-old was a 12th-round draft pick in 2018. He has been stationed at the Class A level to open the 2019 season, where he carries a .229/.319/.343 slash in 48 plate appearances.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Prospect Notes: Hernandez, Sheffield, Senzel, Bichette, Vlad Jr., Luzardo]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156890 2019-04-24T02:09:49Z 2019-04-24T02:09:49Z Here’s the latest on some prospects of note from around the game:

  • The Red Sox brought up top pitching prospect Darwinzon Hernandez for his first taste of the majors, with Alex Speier of the Boston Globe first reporting the move. Hernandez, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, still needs to iron out his command but has shown some impressive swing-and-miss capabilities. It was on display tonight, as he allowed five baserunners but also racked up four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings in relief.
  • Left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield will join the Mariners on Friday for his first action with his new club, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports on Twitter. He’s expected to piggyback with Yusei Kikuchi for a start; it’s possible he’ll be dropped back to Triple-A thereafter, though that’s not yet clear. While he already has 13 days of MLB service on his odometer, Sheffield won’t be able to reach a full year of service even if he stakes a permanent claim to a big-league roster spot. Sheffield hasn’t been himself thus far at Triple-A, carrying an 11:14 K/BB ratio through 18 1/3 innings.
  • It’s possible the Reds will soon welcome top prospect Nick Senzel to the majors. As Fletcher Page of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports, Senzel is back in the lineup at Triple-A after recovering from a sprained ankle. There’s no guarantee that he’ll be promoted in the near-term, but the organization doesn’t have much cause to hesitate at this point. Senzel can no longer achieve a full year of MLB service in 2019; the club is sitting at five games under .500 and can’t wait long to make its move. Once Senzel gets his timing down and gets comfortable in the outfield — he’s lined up in center field tonight for Louisville — he’ll likely be called up.
  • The Blue Jays got some unwelcome news on exciting infield prospect Bo Bichette. Robert Murray and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first reported on Twitter that Bichette had suffered a broken hand. As Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca tweets, the fracture was to the second metacarpal of his left hand. Widely considered one of the game’s very best prospects, Bichette will now need to get back to health before he can begin pressing for a major-league promotion. Meanwhile, anticipation grows that teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will soon get the call; Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs tweets that some around the game anticipate it’ll come this week.
  • Top Athletics prospect Jesus Luzardo is beginning to work back toward the hill, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter links). He’s moving from 75 feet to 90 feet tomorrow, so it’s still rather early in his progression back from shoulder soreness. Slusser estimates that it could take four to six weeks before the prized southpaw could be ready for game action. In all likelihood, he won’t be seen as a candidate for a MLB promotion until he has at least a few Triple-A starts under his belt and the club feels confident there aren’t any lingering issues with the joint.
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George Miller <![CDATA[Poll: Which Early-Season Surprises Are For Real?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156773 2019-04-22T04:26:40Z 2019-04-22T04:25:30Z As we approach the one-month mark of the young 2019 season, the MLB standings are starting to take shape, with fast starters trying to separate from the pack and rebuilding teams falling behind. With that said, the current slate of division leaders features some surprises. Notably, preseason favorites like the Yankees and Red Sox have encountered considerable adversity, while juggernauts like the Dodgers and Astros have thus far met expectations. Meanwhile, a number of teams that received less attention as potential contenders have found themselves climbing MLB’s rankings. Power surges in Seattle and Minnesota have carried the Mariners and Twins to the top of AL’s West and Central divisions, respectively. Elite run prevention in Pittsburgh has allowed the Pirates to flourish in the hyper-competitive NL Central. An injection of youthful energy has driven the Padres to within striking distance of the powerhouse Dodgers. Let’s examine these upstart clubs and look ahead to their outlook for the rest of the season.

The Mariners made headlines throughout the offseason, but often for the wrong reasons. General manager Jerry Dipoto spent the winter shipping off nearly every Major Leaguer with value, and now fields a team that only vaguely resembles the one that won 89 games in 2018. Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, Jean Segura, and James Paxton were all dealt to the East Coast. Last season’s iteration of the Mariners was notorious for its unsustainable first-half performance, repeatedly winning one-run games, often thanks to the heroics of Edwin Diaz. In 2019, the story is of a different flavor, though skeptics may once again challenge the sustainability of April’s returns. This year’s team is slugging home runs at a historic rate, including a streak of 20 games in which the team hit at least one round-tripper. The 2019 Mariners have belted 56 home runs, 12 more than the next closest team, the Dodgers. Tim Beckham and Domingo Santana are churning out extra-base hits, and Mitch Haniger is rising to stardom. Still, the Astros are looming, and a spot in the AL Wild Card will not come easy, with sleeping giants in the AL East working through early adversity–to say nothing of the undeniable Rays.

In a division that has all the makings of a bloodbath, many might have counted out the Pirates after an uninspired offseason: whereas rivals’ offseasons were highlighted by flashy additions like Paul Goldschmidt, Yasiel Puig, and Yasmani Grandal, the Pirates were quiet in the winter, with names like Lonnie Chisenhall and Erik Gonzalez headlining the team’s moves. However, it has quickly become clear that the 12-7 Pirates boast one of the Majors’ best pitching staffs. Behind Jameson Taillon, Trevor Williams has emerged as an automatic quality start every outing. Meanwhile, Joe Musgrove is showing off the dynamic stuff that made him the centerpiece in the Gerrit Cole trade, and Jordan Lyles has been a pleasant surprise to round out the rotation. Felipe Vazquez is dynamite in the late innings, and Richard Rodriguez showed promise last season as a high-leverage option, though the bullpen is somewhat shaky beyond that combination. On offense, things are less peachy, but Josh Bell is turning heads by coupling prodigious power with a keen batting eye. Again, the NL Central will provide no shortage of resistance, but a starting rotation of this caliber should keep the Pirates in more than their fair share of games.

With the last three seasons resembling a roller coaster ride, the Twins entered the offseason hoping to turn a corner. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine set out with essentially blank future payroll, capitalizing on that flexibility by bringing aboard veterans like Nelson Cruz, Marwin Gonzalez, and Jonathan Schoop to bolster a group of young position players that the Twins hope will be galvanized by rookie manager Rocco Baldelli. Jorge Polanco, fresh off a spring contract extension, has provided encouraging production from the shortstop position, and Eddie Rosario is blasting home runs at an impressive rate. Byron Buxton appears to have unlocked the potential that made him a top prospect, and Jose Berrios is entering bona fide ace territory. The pitching appears much improved from years’ past, with a bullpen headed by Taylor Rogers, who belongs in conversations with the league’s elite relief arms. This team may have the most attainable path to October baseball, playing in a weak division where their primary competition is the Indians, a team that has at times appeared vulnerable in 2019.

The Padres thrust themselves into the conversation for the postseason when general manager A.J. Preller and company added Manny Machado to the mix in a franchise-altering move. The team doubled down when the front office broke the mold by breaking camp with top prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. and Chris Paddack on the Opening Day roster. Those moves have paid massive dividends thus far, with Tatis forcing his way into the national spotlight, displaying a five-tool skillset. The club’s rotation of young outfielders is launching homers, and the anonymous bullpen has quietly been one of the best in baseball dating back to last season. Meanwhile, with a host of young starters comprising the rotation, the possibility of a Dallas Keuchel addition remains on the table–a move that would emphatically declare the Friars’ intention to make a postseason push. At the top of the NL West, the Dodgers represent a daunting giant to topple, and the rest of the National League features no shortage of contending teams, but the Padres’ spunk might lead to meaningful autumn baseball for the first time in nearly a decade.

While there are months of baseball left to play, trades to be made, injuries to work around, and breakouts to emerge, the games played in March and April are no less important than those in September. Early-season results can lay the groundwork for what’s to come. Which of the aforementioned blossoming clubs are best positioned to sustain their success and exceed expectations?

(Poll link for app users)

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners To Sign Christian Bergman]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156395 2019-04-17T12:55:37Z 2019-04-17T12:55:37Z The Mariners have agreed to a minors deal with righty Christian Bergman, according to the Mariners Minors Twitter account (link). He’ll head to Triple-A Tacoma, per broadcaster Mike Curto (via Twitter).

Bergman, who’s closing in on his 31st birthday, has seen MLB time in each of the past five seasons. That includes brief time in each of the prior two campaigns with the Mariners. Through 215 2/3 career frames at the game’s highest level, Bergman carries a 5.59 ERA with 5.4 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9.

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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Place Wade LeBlanc On 10-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156199 2019-04-14T22:11:20Z 2019-04-14T22:11:20Z Royals left fielder Alex Gordon has considered retiring after 2019, the last guaranteed season of his four-year, $72MM contract, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports (subscription required). That decision’s on hold for the time being, but now the question is whether the career-long Royal, 35, will finish the season with the club. Gordon has gotten off to such a superb start this year that Dodd notes he could emerge as a viable in-season trade candidate for the rebuilding Royals. But Gordon has 10-and-5 rights, meaning he’d be able to kibosh any trade, and his lofty salary ($20MM this year and a $4MM buyout in 2020) further complicates matters. While Gordon was an indispensable piece for the Royals in his younger days, his production has fallen flat since he received his contract. However, as Dodd explains, Gordon may have revived his career thanks to a mechanical adjustment he made last August. Gordon ended 2018 on a positive note and has come back with a vengeance this year, evidenced by his .356/.456/.667 line with three home runs and more walks (seven) than strikeouts (five) in 57 plate appearances. He has already totaled 1.0 fWAR, compared to a paltry 0.5 in 1,057 PA from 2016-17.

Now the latest on a few other AL notables…

  • Big-ticket offseason pickup James Paxton has struggled so far as a member of the Yankees, which led the left-hander to talk with his sports psychologist, Sweeny Murti of WFAN tweets. The former Mariner revealed he had been putting too much pressure on himself to succeed with his new team, though he now believes he’s on the right track. Paxton also found out from Yankees special advisor Carlos Beltran that he was tipping his curveball grip in his most recent start, an ugly showing in Houston on April 10. He’ll attempt to incorporate Beltran’s advice against Boston on Tuesday.
  • Speaking Sunday with reporters, including Bryan Hoch of MLB.com and Erik Boland of Newsday, Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks said he feels “great” and could take on-field batting practice in the next week. There’s still no timetable for his return, though. Hicks has been dealing with a lower back issue since early March, shortly after the Yankees inked him to a seven-year, $70MM contract extension. Although his absence has deprived the Yankees of one of the game’s preeminent center fielders, battle-tested reserve Brett Gardner has delivered passable offensive production (90 wRC+ in 61 plate appearances) in his stead.
  • Red Sox utilityman Brock Holt is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list Monday, but he won’t return until at least “late in the week,” Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com writes. Holt, who has been on the IL since April 6 with a scratched right cornea, will see a doctor Tuesday and could then embark on a rehab assignment. Prior to his injury, the 30-year-old Holt got off to a slow start, as have fellow Red Sox second basemen Dustin Pedroia and Eduardo Nunez.
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George Miller <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Trout, Jeffress, Benintendi, Cobb, LeBlanc]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156233 2019-04-14T20:48:38Z 2019-04-14T20:48:38Z Angels megastar Mike Trout, who has been unavailable for several days due to a groin injury, has shown improvement and will rejoin the Angels for their series in Texas, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group. He remains day-to-day and it is yet unclear when he will be ready to return to the lineup, but the update is certainly welcome news for the Angels. Trout exited the Angels’ April 9 contest with the Brewers after suffering a right groin strain and remained in Los Angeles while the rest of the team traveled to Chicago. The club has managed well in Trout’s absence, finishing a three-game sweep of the Brewers and winning one of two games against the Cubs, with Sunday’s rubber match postponed. The news should certainly inspire some optimism for Angels fans, who have collectively been holding their breath since Trout’s injury. Considering the circumstances, it would feel like the best-case scenario for the Halos to get their franchise cornerstone back after just a handful of games, a stretch in which the team has maintained its winning form.

Here are the latest updates on other injuries from around Major League Baseball…

  • Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress has completed his rehab assignment and will rejoin the Brewers on Monday, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Jeffress, a stalwart of the Brewers’ dynamic bullpen in 2018, has been on the shelf for the beginning of the season with a shoulder issue, which has since been resolved, says Haudricourt. He will join Josh Hader in a Milwaukee bullpen that will be without Corey Knebel, who underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this season.
  • In Sunday’s victory over the Orioles, Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi fouled a ball sharply off his right foot and had to exit the game. In some good news for the Sox, though, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that x-rays on Benintendi’s foot returned negative results, though Benintendi will be day-to-day with a foot contusion.  He was replaced in left field by Blake Swihart on Sunday, who could continue to serve as Benintendi’s substitute if he misses any time.
  • Orioles righty Alex Cobb, out since April 6 with a lumbar strain, won’t come off the IL when first eligible, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report. It doesn’t appear Cobb will miss much more time, however. Manager Brandon Hyde indicated he could start during the Orioles’ upcoming series against the Twins, which runs from April 19-21. Cobb pitched well in his lone start of the season, an April 4 loss to the Yankees in which he threw 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball.
  • Seattle Mariners southpaw Wade LeBlanc will miss 4-6 weeks with a grade 2 oblique strain, skipper Scott Servais told reporters, including The Athletic’s Corey Brock (Twitter link). With LeBlanc headed to the 10-day IL, the team has called up right-hander Erik Swanson from Triple-A. Swanson will take LeBlanc’s place in the starting rotation and is slated to make his first Major League start on Wednesday.
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George Miller <![CDATA[Brewers Acquire David Freitas From Mariners]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156228 2019-04-14T19:26:09Z 2019-04-14T18:40:53Z The Brewers and Mariners have made a trade, per a Mariners team announcement. The Brewers will acquire catcher David Freitas from Seattle in exchange for minor league pitcher Sal Biasi. Freitas will report to Triple-A with his new team.

In Freitas, who had been playing in Triple-A, the Brewers will add veteran catching depth. The 30-year-old appeared in 36 games with Seattle last season, after spending several years in the minor leagues with the Nationals, Athletics, Orioles, Cubs, and Braves organizations. In 106 Major League plate appearances in 2018, Freitas posted an unimpressive .215/.277/.312 slash line. However, his Triple-A numbers in the last two seasons have been more encouraging: Freitas worked to a .955 OPS in 36 games in 2018, and the early returns in 2019 have been equally promising. He will enter the Brewers’ catching mix behind Yasmani Grandal and Manny Pina, with Jacob Nottingham also on the 40-man roster. Though opportunities at the MLB level may be limited behind the Grandal/Pina combination, Freitas should slot in as the third catcher if needed.

In return, the Mariners will acquire Sal Biasi, a 23-year-old right-handed relief pitcher currently at the Class-A level. Biasi was the Royals’ 11th-round selection in the 2017 draft, but was traded last season to Milwaukee in a minor-league swap. In 116 career minor league innings, Biasi has posted a solid 3.26 ERA and an even 9.0 K/9, compared to 3.9 BB/9. He will represent added depth to the M’s improving farm system.

 

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Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Wade LeBlanc Likely To Miss Time With Oblique Strain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156118 2019-04-13T17:00:57Z 2019-04-13T17:00:57Z
  • Wade LeBlanc left during the fifth inning of last night’s game due to right oblique strain, and the Mariners southpaw is likely headed to the injured list.  (MLB.com’s Greg Johns was among those with the details.)  Tommy Milone or possibly Justus Sheffield seem like the top candidates to replace LeBlanc in Seattle’s rotation, though nothing will be confirmed until LeBlanc undergoes an MRI today to access the damage.  The 34-year-old LeBlanc has been a solid arm for the M’s since rejoining the team on a minor league deal in March 2018, posting a 3.79 ERA while starting 30 of 35 games.  This success resulted in an option-heavy extension between LeBlanc and the Mariners last July.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Sam Tuivailala Could Return In May]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156089 2019-04-13T04:35:07Z 2019-04-13T01:57:39Z
  • While there’s still no precise timeline, a return to action is now in sight for Mariners reliever Sam Tuivailala. He’s still at least a month away from the majors but is nearing live BP sessions, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports via Twitter. The 26-year-old hurler, who is working back from a torn Achilles, appears to be a bit ahead of schedule as compared to expectations last fall. He still has a fair number of additional hurdles yet to clear, of course, but it’s generally promising for the increasingly interesting M’s.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Reportedly Agree To Deal With Neftali Feliz]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156031 2019-04-11T23:31:40Z 2019-04-11T23:31:40Z The Mariners have struck a minor-league accord with right-hander Neftali Feliz, according to multiple reports. Dominican journalist Hector Gomez appears to have had the news first, via Twitter.

    If indeed the deal is completed, the Seattle organization will add another veteran depth piece. Odds are that Feliz would be asked to open at Triple-A Tacoma, though he may first head to extended spring training to build up arm strength.

    Feliz debuted way back in 2009 but is still just thirty years of age. He didn’t appear in the majors last year, the first such season since his arrival on the scene with the Rangers.

    Though he once possessed one of the game’s most intriguing arms — and indeed won the 2010 Rookie of the Year Award — Feliz was sidetracked by injuries after trying to move back from the bullpen into the rotation. His has been a journeyman’s experience since wrapping up his time in Texas.

    Feliz was able to rack up 53 2/3 innings of 3.52 ERA ball in 2016, running 10.2 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 but also allowing ten long balls. The dinger issues arose again in the ensuing season, with nine balls leaving the yard in his 46 frames with the Brewers and Royals. Feliz finished with a 5.48 ERA and took a minors deal with the D-Backs. He made a dozen starts and 25 relief appearances but managed only a 4.81 ERA with a middling 75:54 K/BB ratio.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Improved Changeup Led Mariners To Target Brennan In Rule 5 Draft]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155976 2019-04-12T15:28:42Z 2019-04-11T05:29:39Z
  • The Mariners’ analytics department identified the revamped changeup of right-hander Brandon Brennan as a pitch worth taking a chance on in the Rule 5 Draft, writes Greg Johns of MLB.com, and to this point the team’s investment has paid off nicely. Brennan has been unscored upon in 8 2/3 innings with a 7-to-2 K/BB ratio and a terrific 63.2 percent ground-ball rate. Brennan, who’ll turn 28 this summer, is older than most Rule 5 selections and spoke all the more appreciatively of the opportunity in his interview with Johns. Not only does he relish any big league opportunity as a 27-year-old rookie, but Brennan received the surreal experience of making his MLB debut in the same half-inning that Ichiro Suzuki was pulled from his final game to an uproarious standing ovation in his native Japan. The Mariners will have to carry Brennan all season or else expose him to waivers and, if he clears, offer him back to the White Sox for $50K. So far, he’s given Seattle no reason to do so.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Dipoto On Mariners’ Hot Start]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155936 2019-04-10T19:39:46Z 2019-04-10T19:39:46Z Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto’s frequent roster tinkering is now legend. It’s only natural to wonder whether the club’s fast start to the 2019 season will spur another round of action, and Dipoto discussed the matter with Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.

    Dipoto’s most recent round of tweaks was intended to set the club up for near-future success, with the idea being to spend a year regrouping in hopes of a breakout 2020 campaign. While he says an 11-2 run to begin the year won’t likely result in a mid-season buying spree, the top Seattle baseball exec did seem to acknowledge that the performance could impact the team’s roster calculations.

    First and foremost, Dipoto made clear that the M’s “won’t take anything away from our long-term plan in order to address short-term needs.” But he wasn’t shy to admit that he’s “intrigued” and “excited” by the development and output he’s seen from the roster he has already assembled. If the club is “still performing like the best lineup in history” at the trade deadline, he says, “clearly we’ll address areas of need.”

    It sounds as if the door is at least potentially open to some win-now movement, then, though the Mariners will likely see how things play out and may not be overly bold when the time comes. As Dipoto says, though, he has been “creative” in his past dealmaking — including an early-season, buy-side swap last year — so it’s tough to rule anything out.

    Putting aside the possibility of additions, the early run may be enough to stave off or even eliminate some veteran departures that might otherwise have been anticipated. “The way guys are playing together right now, I have no interest in changing the rhythm and mojo going on,” Dipoto said when asked about some of the team’s short-term, elder statesmen. “Let’s let it play out a bit.”

    That attitude seemingly represents a departure from the late-spring dealmaking posture that the M’s seemed to take. Their decision to hold onto sluggers Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce, in particular, seemed mostly to reflect a lack of demand. Keeping them on the roster was supposed to help keep the team competitive and provide a showcase for a potential mid-season swap.

    Now, there’s a greater likelihood that the Mariners will at least hold steady and let the roster take things wherever it can. But as Dipoto and Stone both caution, there’s still plenty of time in advance of the trade deadline for the situation to change. For now, the GM is just watching and enjoying.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Place Chasen Bradford On IL, Recall Erik Swanson]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155889 2019-04-09T22:42:40Z 2019-04-09T22:42:40Z
  • Mariners right-hander Chasen Bradford has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his right shoulder, per a team announcement. The Seattle organization will turn to fellow righty Erik Swanson in his stead. There’s no immediate rotation opening for Swanson, one of the focal pieces of the trade that sent James Paxton to the Yankees, so the 25-year-old seems ticketed for the bullpen for the time being. If Swanson finds his way into a game, he’d be making his big league debut. An eighth-round pick by the Rangers in 2014, Swanson went from Texas to New York in the 2016 Carlos Beltran trade before being sent to the Mariners in the aforementioned Paxton swap. He pitched at three levels in the Yankees’ system last year, working to a combined 2.66 ERA with 10.3 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9 in 121 2/3 innings.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Connor Sadzeck]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155265 2019-04-02T00:30:38Z 2019-04-01T23:37:34Z 7:30pm: This move has now been announced.

    6:37pm: The Mariners have struck a deal with the Rangers to acquire righty Connor Sadzeck, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fellow right-hander Grant Anderson will go to Texas in return.

    The intra-division swap arose after Sadzeck was designated for assignment recently. He’s out of options, so he’ll head onto the Seattle 40-man and active rosters.

    While Sadzeck is young and controllable, and possesses a live arm, the Rangers elected instead to carry veteran reliever Jeanmar Gomez, untested lefty  Kyle Bird (who has since been optioned), and Rule 5 pick Kyle Dowdy. For all the potential that comes with his big frame and upper-nineties heater, Sadzeck has yet to show he’ll be able to deploy his arsenal effectively at the MLB level and ended up on the chopping block.

    The M’s will surely be prepared to live through some more growing pains from the 27-year-old. He surrendered 11 walks while recording seven strikeouts in his first 9 1/3 MLB innings last year and then gave up eight free passes with eleven strikeouts over 8 1/3 frames in camp. But Sadzeck hasn’t been irredeemably wild in the minors. Last year, for instance, he worked to a 4.03 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 over 38 innings at Triple-A.

    As for Anderson, the 21-year-old was plucked in the 21st round of last year’s draft out of McNeese State. He has only a dozen pro innings under his belt, but did impress enough to earn a quick (but brief) promotion to the Class A level. He allowed just four hits and two earned runs while posting a 13:7 K/BB ratio last year.

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    George Miller <![CDATA[Quick Hits: Padres, Keuchel, Strickland, Gray, “The Belt” Reactions]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155158 2019-04-01T15:35:20Z 2019-03-31T21:29:45Z The Padres are “determined to add a starter,” according to Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic. With a slew of young pitchers comprising the Friars’ current rotation—Joey Lucchesi, Eric Lauer, and Chris Paddackand the addition of Manny Machado driving the team’s desire to win now, San Diego is a natural fit for a veteran starter to anchor an otherwise inexperienced pitching staff. Dallas Keuchel, of course, remains unsigned and fits the profile, though he and agent Scott Boras have remained firm on their asking price, which the Padres have thus far refused to meet. Rosenthal and Lin also mention Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman as a potential trade target. Stroman, who endured a disappointing 2018 campaign, remains a strong candidate to be traded at some point this season, though it remains unclear just how quickly the Padres plan to move in their hunt for a starter. As Rosenthal and Lin note, trades this early in the season are uncommon, though Keuchel remains on the table for the Padres if they can reach a compromise on the price tag.

    Here’s the latest from around baseball…

    • Following the revelation that MLB teams award a belt to the team that best suppresses its players’ arbitration salaries, several players—including Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, and Anthony Rizzooffered their thoughts on the news, in pieces from Nubyjas Wilborn of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Rizzo and others provide insight into the shaky relationship between the players and owners, also commenting on the possibility of a work stoppage when the current CBA expires.
    • Mariners manager Scott Servais said that reliever Hunter Strickland, who suffered a grade 2 lat strain and was recently placed on the 10-day IL, will be out “at least a couple months,” per Greg Johns of MLB.com. In the meantime, then, it appears that Servais and the Mariners will adopt a committee approach to the closer situation, though the current bullpen options for Seattle are not particularly inspiring, with Cory Gearrin at the forefront of a thin group.
    • Rockies fans may have had some concerns after right-handed pitcher Jon Gray left Sunday’s start against the Marlins in the seventh inning after meeting with the team’s trainer on the mound. However, Nick Groke of The Athletic tweets some good news for Colorado, as Gray was merely experiencing calf cramps and is expected to be ready for his next scheduled start.
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