The Mariners announced that they’ve acquired left-hander Dillon Overton from the Athletics in exchange for minor league catcher Jason Goldstein. To make room on the 40-man roster, Seattle designated catcher Jesus Sucre for assignment. Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune first reported that Overton could be on the way to Seattle (on Twitter). The A’s had just designated Overton for assignment earlier this week when they signed veteran infielder Adam Rosales to a one-year deal.
Oakland’s second-round pick in 2013, the 25-year-old Overton made his Major League debut in 2016 but struggled to an ERA of 11.47 in 24 1/3 innings. He did have a solid campaign in Triple-A Nashville last season, however, racking up 125 1/3 innings of 3.29 ERA ball. Overton also averaged 7.7 K/9 against 2.2 BB/9 to go along with a 34.9 percent ground-ball rate in his time at Triple-A.
As recently as the 2015-16 offseason, Baseball America ranked Overton as the Athletics’ No. 8 prospect, though their assessment noted that Overton’s success would be determined by how much velocity he could regain following 2013 Tommy John surgery. Overton worked in the mid-90s in college but was in the upper 80s following his operation. The velocity seemingly never returned, as he averaged just 88.3 mph on his heater last year.
Overton has performed well at every minor league stop, though, and he has minor league options remaining, meaning the Mariners can send him back to Triple-A for further refinement. The Mariners’ rotation is full with Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo all occupying spots. Left-hander Ariel Miranda is also on hand as an option in the case of injury, though he’s probably ticketed for long relief work to open the season.
Goldstein, 22, was the Mariners’ ninth-round pick just last summer. The Illinois native opened his pro career with Seattle’s affiliate in the Rookie-level Arizona League and finished out the year in short-season Class-A. Goldstein had just 68 total plate appearances in his brief time, hitting .279/.328/.311 in that time. He also threw out seven of the 14 runners that attempted to steal against him. Heading into the draft, Baseball America noted that he had limited power but handles a pitching staff well. Goldstein is no stranger to catching high-caliber arms, as he was the battery mate of 2015 first-rounder Tyler Jay (Twins) and 2016 first-rounder Cody Sedlock (Orioles) in college at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sucre, 28, was out of options and looked to be a long shot to make the Mariners’ roster with both Mike Zunino and Carlos Ruiz ahead of him on the depth chart. (Seattle also claimed catcher Tuffy Gosewisch off waivers from Atlanta earlier today.) Sucre has excelled at throwing out baserunners in his career (35 percent) and typically receives average to above-average marks for his pitch-framing skills. However, he’s yet to produce at the plate in parts of four seasons in the Majors, batting .209/.246/.276 in 264 PAs.