Veteran infielder/outfielder Dustin Ackley is headed back to his original organization, as he’s agreed to a minor league contract with the Mariners, according to multiple reports (including Fancred’s Jon Heyman, on Twitter).
Ackley, now 30 years of age, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since a brief 2016 run with the Yankees, where he hit .148/.243/.148 in a small sample of 70 plate appearances. He’s spent the past two seasons with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, where he’s gotten on base at a solid clip but struggled to hit for power despite playing in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. In 284 plate appearances last season, Ackley hit .286/.378/.398 with four homers, 13 doubles and a triple.
Selected by the Mariners out of North Carolina with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Ackley was viewed as an advanced college bat who could quickly move through the system. That proved to be the case, as he was in the Majors two years later and hit .273/.348/.417 — good for a 120 OPS+ at the age of 23. However, Ackley’s bat cratered in his sophomore season with the M’s, and he’s batted only .235/.296/.358 over the life of 1971 plate appearances in parts of five big league seasons since that time. Ackley’s addition is a depth move for the Mariners, as he’ll likely open the season in Triple-A Tacoma as he looks to work his way back to the big leagues for the first time in nearly three full years.