The Mariners have acquired outfielder Andrew Aplin from the Astros, per a club announcement. Cash or a player to be named later will head to Houston in return. To create room on the 40-man roster, Seattle has designated righty Chris Heston for assignment.
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Aplin, 26, had just been designated for assignment when the ’Stros had a need for a 40-man spot. He’ll now head to the division-rival Mariners, who carry a variety of young outfielders on their 40-man roster — a situation with plenty of competition but also a good bit of opportunity.
Seattle is surely intrigued by Aplin’s ability to manage the strike zone, make contact, and get on base. He owns a .375 OBP through thirty games at Triple-A this year. But Aplin has also failed to show much else with the bat at the highest level of the minors, with a composite .245/.341/.329 batting line through 953 total plate appearances over four seasons. He did manage nine home runs in 598 plate appearances at the High-A level back in 2013, however. And Aplin is regarded as a quality defender who can play anywhere in the outfield; Baseball America credits him with a high-quality arm while noting that “his range and defense play up thanks to good routes and reads.”
The 29-year-old Heston, who’s best known for his 2015 no-hitter, has struggled badly in his limited major league opportunities over the past two seasons. Most recently, he was bombed in a spot start on Sunday. Still, Heston had managed a 3.41 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 over 31 2/3 innings this year at Triple-A Tacoma.