The Mariners added a backup catcher and strengthened their pitching depth just prior to Tuesday’s deadline, acquiring catcher Curt Casali and lefty Matthew Boyd from the Giants in exchange for minor league righty Michael Stryffeler and catcher Andy Thomas. The Casali and Boyd were initially reported separately but were announced by the teams as part of the same swap. Seattle announced that left-hander Tommy Milone has been released to make room on the 40-man roster for Casali. Boyd is on the 60-day injured list and does not yet require a roster spot.
Casali adds some depth behind Seattle starter Cal Raleigh. The 33-year-old backstop has had a nice showing in limited playing time with the Giants this season. Through 102 plate appearances, Casali is hitting .231/.325/.370, connecting on four homers and a trio of doubles. That’s a nice blend of power and patience from a depth catcher, even when paired with Casali’s typically lofty level of swing-and-miss. He’s also plenty familiar with newly acquired ace Luis Castillo from the pair’s days together in Cincinnati.
Seattle’s No. 2 backstop Luis Torrens has underwhelmed this year, hitting .208/.262/.225 in 42 games. Torrens can’t be optioned to the minor leagues, so Casali’s addition could conceivably squeeze him off the 40-man roster entirely. Raleigh will continue to play most days amidst a breakout season, and the M’s may not want to carry three backstops on the active roster. Casali is currently on the injured list after suffering an oblique strain last month, but he’s on a rehab assignment and should be reinstated to the majors shortly. Casali is making $2.6MM this season, around $928K of which has still to be paid. He’ll be a free agent at season’s end.
Boyd, 31, inked a one-year, $5.2MM deal with the Giants after a mostly solid four-year run with the Tigers. A brutal showing in 2020 skewed his numbers in his final few seasons with Detroit, but Boyd often flashed quality bat-missing ability and typically posted low walk rates throughout his time in the Detroit rotation. He twice looked as though he may be among the more appealing arms available at a trade deadline — first in 2019 when he was sitting on a 3.95 ERA and 152 strikeouts in 114 innings and again in 2021 when he’d posted a similar ERA and reduced home-run rate (albeit with a diminished strikeout rate).
The Tigers held onto Boyd both times, however, declining to move him in ’19 because they (justifiably) set a huge asking price given Boyd’s three-plus remaining seasons of club control. The 2020 season brought little opportunity to move Boyd, thanks to the aforementioned struggles (6.71 ERA in 12 starts), and by the time last year’s deadline rolled around, Boyd’s season was in jeopardy due to that forearm issue.
It’s unlikely that Boyd will be able to return and build up to a starter’s workload this season — but the Mariners, particularly after landing Castillo, don’t really need Boyd to step into the rotation anyhow. He could, however, provide them with an experienced left-hander to plug into the bullpen. Seattle hasn’t had much luck with its left-handed bullpen arms this season, so taking what’s surely a low-cost flier on Boyd is a sensible enough peripheral move at this stage of deadline season.
Stryffeler is a 26-year-old reliever who’s spent the 2022 campaign in Double-A. A right-hander, he owns an excellent 2.27 ERA through 35 2/3 frames. Stryffeler has fanned an elite 37.7% of batters faced but walked an elevated 12.6% of opponents. The Lake Erie college product will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this winter if he’s not added to San Francisco’s 40-man roster.
Thomas, meanwhile, was the Mariners’ fifth-round draft pick just last summer. He’s had a nice start to the season in High-A, where he’s posted a strong .264/.400/.444 with nine homers, a dozen doubles and a huge 16.2% walk rate. Thomas was a senior sign out of Baylor University, it should be noted, so he’s already 23 and is playing against notably younger competition. Time will tell how he fares against more advanced opponents, but the early results are promising. From a defensive perspective, he’s caught a roughly average 27% of attempted base thieves, but Baseball America questioned his overall receiving skills at the time of the draft.
Milone, 35, had been in his second stint with the Mariners. The journeyman southpaw has carved out a 12-year big league career, at times enjoying solid runs as a starter (2012-15, in particular) and as a reliever. The past several seasons have been a struggle for the soft-tosser, however, as evidenced by a 6.33 ERA in 69 2/3 frames. Milone was on the 15-day injured list due to a cervical sprain, but if he’s healthy in the season’s final couple months, he could latch on as a depth arm with another club.
In 944 1/3 innings at the big league level, Milone has a 4.60 ERA with a below-average 17.5% strikeout rate but an excellent 5.6% walk rate.
Robert Murray of FanSided first reported that Casali was headed to Seattle in exchange for Stryffeler (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Boyd was going to Seattle as well.
News coming in too fast for the notifications to keep up!!
Zaidi is a one man wrecking crew. Unless he’s going to pull a magic wand out of his gluteus maximus the catching position has gone from bad to terrible … Bart and Wynns … neither can hit.
Rodon? Flores? Leone?
Watch out NYY. We’re coming for you
You misspelled Joey Bart
15 minutes to unload Rodon, Flores, Leone, etc.
Deadline is 3 pst
Thanks. I knew it didnt seem that late.
Deadline is at 3pm pst 6pm est
Great (short lived) Giant, good luck in the playoffs Curt. Caught 5 straight shutouts last season, that was awesome.
First! Torrents has been a disappointment. If the M’s can hold onto the next 5-7 days it should be smooth sailing until October.
We’re so scared
ANNOUNCE RODON TO THE YANKEES BOZOS
Cashman will try and unload disgruntled Miguel Andujar or an outfielder who can’t produce.
Cool. Giants starting to move a few of their 73 different platoon players!
Yes….keep ‘em moving. Flores, Joc, Rodon, Bart, Wade Jr.
Firesale happening at 3rd and King!!! Sell, sell (trade, trade!)
Don’t expect anything in return but Zaidi dumpster diving, platoon players.
Joc is clutching his pearls in anticipation.
A really great trade for the Mariners. Casali is a very high quality and underrated catcher and they got him for nothing
A trade like this is the rare occasion that makes you think the GM knows what hes doing
No they didn’t get him for nothing.
If the return is an undrafted RP, it’s pretty close to nothing.
Giants trade deadline so far has brought back very little that people would call valuable.
Have fun with JD Davis though
Very little of value? They converted Ruf and Casali into a buy-low controllable bat and five minor leaguers. Turning two fringe players into one fringe player and five prospects isn’t too shabby.
Ultimately, their deadline being a success or failure hinges on if they ship Rodon. He’s their only marquee trade chip, but these peripheral moves have been solid.
That’s why I said so far they’ve brought back very little of value. Granted what they gave up wasn’t very valuable and they could deal Rodon for a haul. Nothing I said was inaccurate.
True, you never said they gave up valuable players, but I’d argue that turning two vets into a vet and five prospects *is* a non-negligible amount of value. Your comment came across as dismissive of the returns in these trades, but I’d argue that the context of giving up very little and getting back five lottery tickets and a bounce-back candidate with a 124 career wRC+ is more than nothing.
Maybe continuing this comment thread would just devolve into semantics about what “value” means, but I think value is often relative; just because none of the returns have been blue chip prospects or legit MLB players doesn’t mean there’s been little value, in my opinion. These are the kinds of trades the Giants have flourished with, turning a backup catcher into a setup reliever or a 35-year-old lefty masher into several contributors.
So. Cal. Giants fan
However, he is a liability offensively! One of Farhan’s many mistakes was believing that Casali and Bart could replace Posey’s offensive numbers. It simply didn’t work out.
You’re clearly spoiled from years of Buster. He’s practically a one in a million catcher, from an offensive standpoint. There is no replacing him.
At least Casali could make contact. Bart can’t even get to the Mendoza Line and continues to strike out 50% of his at bats. Sending Bart to AAA to work on his swing was a failure.
Casali is an excellent backstop and, when healthy, can hit a little. I’m surprised the Giants dealt him given the uncertainty about Joey Bart, the obvious downside to Wyatts and the distance Genoves and Bailey are from the Big Show. Hoping the Giants got someone of value.
So. Cal. Giants fan
Think Farhan gonna make a run at Wilson Contreras with Casali gone?
If they were still harboring thoughts of competing, which they may not now, you wouldn’t go the remainder of the way with only Bart and prayer.
No, b/c Contreras is a rental and the Giants are going nowhere this year. Now, if they could sign him to an extension, maybe. But Contreras wants to test the market this winter and will get plenty of offers.
Great opportunity for Casali to get to play in the post season. Zaidi has effectively destroyed the Giants.
Destroyed the Giants? Nah! They have a great farm, and a ton of money for big moves this off-season.
Probably not a coincidence that Casali was Luis Castillo’s battery mate in Cincinnati.
But can he play 2B?
Frazier is pretty much the only one hitting at the moment. He’s been on fire lately. Much bigger needs than a 2B.
Frazier has been worth -0.1 WAR this year and is hitting .308 in the second half thanks to a .375 BAbip….Frazier doesn’t have a single extra base hit in the second half yet, so he isn’t getting hot while hitting homeruns and balls into the gaps…no, it’s all just singles that are finding holes through the infield. That luck is bound to come back down.
We did need a backup catcher to Raleigh, so Casali is a good piece. But neither of our two biggest needs have been filled yet, which is a 2B and another bullpen arm.
Selah Rick 2
Boyd will be the bp arm from the left side. Which is what the M’s needed.
Nice pickup by Seattle.
Matthew Boyd is also in the deal.
Uhhh…what? Is this a vote of confidence for Joey Bart? WTF is going on? Or are the Giants swinging a deal for Contreras and Happ – Happ would solve a some issues for the G’s – SOME issues. Bart can go to the Cubbies and throw in a couple prospects to include Happ in the deal
So. Cal. Giants fan
I was kinda thinking the same??
Total garbage. He destroys lefties, but with the dearth of lefties in the MLB it’s worthless. He hits like 2022 Torrens against lefties. Meanwhile Raleigh hits like Piazza against lefties and is league average against righties. Basically handicapping Raleigh by playing Casali against lefties. Add in learning the staff, it’s unnecessary.
Boyd is a classic Dipoto “yeah you got that 68 Lincoln that’s not running right now don’t ya? I’ll take it”
Another former Red…
Another former Ray…
Yet another catcher the Rays really could have used. Is the Rays FO sleeping in today???
This move makes you wonder if Zaidi is about to cash in more chips in the next hour.
Being a total seller in this climate could be a catastrophe for Zaidi