JUNE 15: The teams have announced that Filia will be returned to Seattle after failing his physical. Instead, Boston will receive cash considerations to complete the swap.
JUNE 12: The Red Sox announced that they’ve acquired minor league outfielder Eric Filia from the Mariners as the player to be named later in April’s Roenis Elias trade. FanRag’s Robert Murray was the first to reports that Filia was going to the Red Sox (Twitter link).
Filia, 25, was Seattle’s 20th-round pick back in 2016 and ranked as the No. 11 prospect in a thin Mariners farm system, per MLB.com, though he missed the early portion of the season while serving a 50-game suspension due to a second positive test for a drug of abuse. He was recently activated and has batted .426/.508/.537 with a home run, three doubles and more walks (nine) than strikeouts (four) in 63 Double-A plate appearances.
Of course, Filia is older than the average competition he’s facing in Double-A, as was the case in 2017 when he batted .326/.407/.434 with five homers in 564 plate appearances as a 24-year-old in Class-A Advanced. Filia has punched out in just 7.3 percent of his professional plate appearances, and while that’s in part a testament to the younger competition he’s faced, it’s also an undeniable testament to his above-average bat-to-ball skills. He’s also walked at a 12.3 percent clip in the minors.
Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com laud those on-base and bat-to-ball skills, though their report also indicates that he’s limited to the outfield corners on the defensive spectrum and has “average-at-best tools” in other facets of the game. Fangraphs’ Eric Longenhagen called him a potential bench bat in running through the Mariners’ system this offseason, noting past injury issues and recreational drug usage have slowed his path to the Majors.