The Indians announced this morning that they’ve traded first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers to the Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later. Cleveland designated Bauers for assignment over the weekend, clearing an avenue for Bobby Bradley to get an opportunity at first base. The Mariners designated infielder Jack Mayfield for assignment in order to open a roster spot for Bauers, according to a press release of their own.
Bauers, 25, has spent parts of three seasons at the MLB level but has yet to produce much in the big leagues. He was ranked as one of the game’s top 75 or so prospects prior to both the 2017 and 2018 seasons at Baseball America, FanGraphs and MLB.com, but the above-average raw power and hit tool that contributed to those rankings has yet to really manifest. He’s logged 924 plate appearances between the Indians and the Rays but managed only a tepid .211/.309/.365 slash. Bauers does walk at a hearty 12 percent clip and can be deployed at any of first base, left field or right field.
It probably feels to many like Bauers should be older than 25, given the fact that his MLB debut came at the age of 22. But he’s still a relatively youthful option for the Mariners to try to catch some lightning in a bottle. He’s out of minor league options, so he’ll need to stick on the Major League roster or else be once again designated for assignment. However, with the mounting injuries the Mariners are facing at first base and in the outfield, it’s not a surprise to see them bring in another option.
The Mariners are without center fielder Kyle Lewis indefinitely after the 2020 Rookie of the Year sustained another knee injury late last month. First baseman Evan White struggled again to begin the season and has now spent nearly a month on the IL with a strained hip flexor. Infield/outfield options Sam Haggerty (shoulder inflammation) and Dylan Moore (calf strain) are both on the shelf at the moment as well, with Haggerty in particular out of the picture after being shifted to the 60-day IL. Meanwhile, uber-prospect Jarred Kelenic fell into a nightmarish slump after cracking a couple of early homers to begin his MLB career. Seattle optioned him back to Triple-A Tacoma this week.
This is the third trade and fourth organization for Bauers, a 2013 seventh-round pick who has the distinction of having been involved in a pair of notable three-team swaps. He went from the Padres to the Rays in the 2014 Wil Myers/Trea Turner deal. After debuting in the Majors with the Rays in 2018, he was flipped to Cleveland in the trade in a trade that, coincidentally enough, also involved the Mariners. That deal sent Edwin Encarnacion and a Competitive Balance draft pick from Cleveland to Seattle, with the Indians netting Carlos Santana and trading Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser to Tampa Bay.
As for the 30-year-old Mayfield, he’s now been designated for assignment by a trio of AL West teams in the past year. The Astros, who signed Mayfield as an undrafted free agent in 2013, placed him on waivers last November, and he’s since bounced to the Braves, then the Angels and then the Mariners.
Mayfield is the quintessential light-hitting utility infielder. He’s a more-than-capable defender at any of shortstop, second base or third base but has struggled considerably to handle big league pitching. He’s had 150 turns at the plate in the past three seasons combined but put together a dismal .168/.195/.259 output in that time. Mayfield does carry a much more impressive .269/.325/.475 batting line in parts of five Triple-A seasons, however, and he can be optioned both this year and next. The Mariners will have a week to trade him or attempt to pass him through outright waivers.
Good for the indians, he sucks
Evan White and Scott Kingery going to be the richest guys in the minors for the next 5 years, hope they’re covering their underpaid teammates meals!
Yeah, because White has clearly proven to be a bust after a whopping 300 PAs between last season and this season.
No one said bust…. you did. A career .165 average should ‘t be defended so ardently though.
That is pretty good for a pitcher.
He does throw left-handed… don’t give Dipoto anymore ideas.
Way to miss the point, Chester.
how many rookies win gold gloves?
What was the point? Evan White isn’t a bust? Sick retort to a joke about his future minor league days and Dipoto’s overpay.
Not a lot. 5 in the past 30 years. How many starting mlbers can hit .144 because there defense is so good… especially at an offensive position? Also, not a lot. I bet you can’t find 5 in the past 30 years though.
Way to overreact, Chester.
Who’s saying his .144 BA (in just 104 PAs this season) is good enough because of his defense, Chester?
Through less than a full season of ABs, half of which have been spent getting better competition than he would have at alternate site games and the other half in a year where no one is hitting?
He’s actually cheap insurance if White doesn’t turn it around…. Compares favorably to White based on career numbers.
Reminds me of Yasmany Tomas and Rusney Castillo.
Because he’s from Cuba and kept it a secret?
I will say Evan White is a much more convincing cover name than Fausto Carmona.
At least Yasmany Thomas made it to the big leagues. Rusney Castillo was a terrible signing and overpay for a player that never made it to the majors. And wasn’t he 27 at the time of his signing ?
Rusney did play in the majors for a bit around 2014-2015. About 100 career games if I remember correctly. Terrible signing regardless
TIL Yasmany Tomas is hitting .188 for the nationals in AAA this season.
Honestly, they probably are picking up a lot of tabs
Teams should learn not to pay guys before they play an MLB game unless they are Acuna level prospects. Kingery and White were definitely not.
White did win a gold glove, so at least he has that going for him. Then again, with league average sitting around .230 maybe we should stifle expectations for every hitter; getting harder out there, looking the the dead ball era.
Dipoto finally finishing “24”.
Yeah a M’s trade !! BUT if they need help at 1B, call up Raleigh now
France has been fine over there. This trade makes no sense.
That being said hopefully Bauers pulls a Nola and starts raking!
Bauers can play an OF corner in a pinch as well, though that’s not ideal.
If Seattle can do what Cleveland hasn’t been able to do in years (finish the development of a young hitter), he gives Seattle a lefty bat to move forward with.
France has been solid at 1B, but he might still be in line to inherit 3B next year (or even at the deadline).
Seattle’s lineup isn’t exactly stacked right now, either. There’s room and the bar is low.
I hope for the best for Bauers. That said, it looks like his development topped out his Single A year. His regression each year tells me his competition continues to develop, while he remains the same.
I remember a report in 2019 of the Indians trying to give him some help and possibly playing winter ball to help fix some issues. Bauers refused. Maybe he will have a change of attitude, but you also can’t develop someone who doesn’t want to be developed.
Good luck to the Mariners. Like you said, maybe they will finally be able to do what the Rays and Indians couldn’t because nothing about his performance with either organization should make anyone think he belongs on an MLB roster.
They’re getting him familiar with 1B, but he’s not going to be called up to be a first baseman.
He’s going to be up soon enough, anyway.
Agree. The guy has DH/part-time 1b written all over him and he is raking in Tacoma this year.
Cal Raleigh has played 1 game at 1B his entire career. Do we really want to have him learn the position at the big league level? Just let him share Catching w Murphy, teach him behind the scenes
Thats what the Mariners do, stick guys in spots they’ve never played.
Dee Gordon gets traded to Seattle and Dipoto tells him that he’s in CF.
Also, there’s no sense of wanting to win.
We are closer to full on rebuild than to playoff status.
Someone on here said the bar is set low, another trademark of Seattle.
Perhaps a change-of-scenery candidate. Is this a sign that maybe the Mariners plan to send White back to AAA to try and get him on track once he’s off the IL?
Although it sounds harsh, I almost wonder if any of the 1B’man mentioned here—Bauers, White and Bradley—will ever reach their potential.
I mean White is on IL and hasn’t even started his rehab assignment. Odds are he’ll get the full 20 days. So maybe Bauers gets a month or so to show us what he’s got. He’s hitting under .200 so he fits right in….
For what it’s worth, Bauers has hit RHPs decently on the road (career, and this year).
It really can’t hurt to see if an adjustment from another organization can make a difference for the better.
At this point, just hitting more than Bauers would be a plus, regardless of whether or not Bradley reaches his potential.
White starts his rehab assignment in Tacoma today. I would not be surprised if they left him down there until he can establish an ability to make contact.
Well, this IS major league pitching, not AA or AAA. But one would think that the best hitting coaches are also at the major league level? Although, that may not be true either. The best “teachers” of hitting should be coaching in the minors. I guess the major is more geared data analysis than actually coaching to teach.
It really does just emphasize the difference between pitching between the minors and the majors. It’s about adapting to how pitchers get you out. I would imagine that struggling is something none of these players have ever wxperienced in their lives.
Nothing wrong with this trade with the injuries the Mariners have had.. A PTBNL trade means they really got him for almost nothing.. It’s worth a shot.
Terry9- PTBNL trades are connected to the success of the incoming player. If Bauers finds his form you can bet it will not be almost nothing.
There’s often a conditional limit. If it works out, they get player A instead of player B.
But in this case, since Bauer was a DFA, it may be random and the name might be decided upon and announced fairly quick.
Mariners making a move for the sake of making a move
Not really. The Mariners have lost significant time from DH, 1B, 2B, and CF due to injuries, some of those having multiple players hurt. They’ve also gotten next to zero production from C and LF to this point in the season. Adding Bauers for next to nothing gives them some 1B/LF depth that they have been missing badly as of late.
Considering their well-chronicled offensive struggles and -53 run differential, it’s remarkable the Mariners are 31-32. Their rebuild is somewhat on schedule. If some of the youngsters start producing, they can be a pretty good team as early as next year.
Who is pitching next year? A rotation that can win.
How about 2nd base, who is the playoff 2nd baseman that will be manning the position?
How about 3rd?
Is Dipoto going to spend big money in the offseason, despite having 10s of millions available?
Selah Rick 2
Kikuchi, Gilbert, Sheffield, Marco. Maybe Kirby if all goes as planned and possibly a free agent. Moore and Long are under development for 2nd base. France probably at 3rd. Marte is a year or 2 behind with Julio Rodriguez joining the club early next season.
Tony Cabroni why do they need a playoff 2nd BM? Has no other playoff team had a hole or weakness at a position or two? In the playoffs they need 3 SPs and 4-5 guys from the pen. I also wonder if you spend a few days a week at Jerry’s house. You seem to know what he is thinking. He has said they will spend money when it makes sense. Not going to spend just to spend. You Angel trolls are getting old. We know you think he ruined your team and Arte did nothing wrong. Tony Chinno you are boring.
What the heck ever happened to Mallex Smith?
Sucked his way out of a 40 man spot.
He was signed by the Mets in November but released a couple of weeks ago after slashing a .133/.170/.178 batting line with Triple-A Syracuse. He went 6-45 before being sent to the Mets’ alternate training site and was released soon after.
May have been the worst hitter I ever saw in M’s history and I have been watching since the start. He also struggled in the field and could barely get the ball to the cut off man.
Smith wasn’t good, but the 2020 sample was pretty small and 2019 wasn’t nearly as bad (though still bad).
When I think of the worst hitter in Seattle’s history, I think of Chone Figgins in 2011 and 2012. Though to be fair, his attitude was worse than his batting line (and that’s saying something.).
All of those outfielder injuries on the Mets should have been his golden opportunity. Time for him to invest in a copy of this book.
Billy Hamilton 2.0 was signed and released by the Mets. If you’re hitting .130-.199 and have wheels you better steal bases and play defense like Hamilton or expect to be released.
I am depressed all you arm chair GMs are probably right. Seattle won’t make the playoffs for 30 more years. I will be dead well before that so it doesn’t matter. I will just follow the Hawks and Kracken. Thanks for helping me not waste time rooting for the Ms. wonder if I should change my name too?