The Mariners announced that they’ve traded right-hander Casey Fien to the Phillies in exchange for cash. Because Fien wasn’t on the Mariners’ 40-man roster, Philadelphia does not need to make a corresponding 40-man move. Fien will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, per an announcement from the Phillies.
Fien, 33, has been designated for assignment and outrighted off the 40-man roster by the Mariners twice this season. He’s struggled immensely through six big league innings this year, surrendering 10 earned runs on nine hits (three homers) and four walks with six strikeouts. That marks a continuation of the difficulties that Fien had with the Dodgers and Twins in 2016, when he posted a 5.49 ERA through 39 1/3 innings. (Notably, Fien did improve considerably upon moving from Minnesota to Los Angeles, recording a 4.21 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 25 2/3 innings.)
Though he’s struggled since the onset of the 2016 season, Fien was a reliable middle relief/setup option for the Twins from 2012-15, logging 223 2/3 innings with a 3.54 ERA, 7.9 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9. Fien’s velocity is down a bit this season, but he’s also registered an impressive 17.8 percent swinging-strike rate and is subsequently sporting a career-best 66.7 percent contact rate. The long ball has plagued Fien since early in 2016, and while a move to the homer-happy Citizens Bank Park (in the event that he is promoted to the Majors at some point) may not help in that regard, it could also do Fien some good to get out of the America League.