The Seattle Mariners have selected the contract of catcher Brian O’Keefe from Triple-A Tacoma, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). In a corresponding move, M’s catcher Curt Casali has been placed on the paternity list.
This will be the first major league action for O’Keefe, age 29, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Cardinals in 2014. After spending five seasons in St. Louis’s system, O’Keefe was picked by Seattle in the 2019 Rule 5 minor league draft. He spent two years in the Mariners farm system before electing free agency at the conclusion of the 2021 season, where he eventually agreed to stay with the M’s on a minor league deal. With Casali out of action for at least 24, but no more than 72 hours, O’Keefe will join the big league club for the first time in his nine seasons as a pro.
O’Keefe has spent all of his 2022 campaign at Triple-A Tacoma, where he has had one of his finest minor league seasons. Thus far, he has hit 13 home runs and posted a productive .253/.330/.449 slash in 352 plate appearances. More than seventy-five percent of O’Keefe’s 2022 appearances for Tacoma have been at catcher, where Baseball Prospectus rates him as an excellent framer, with the rest coming as a designated hitter.
Casali is all but assured to rejoin the Mariners as soon as his time on the paternity list ends. If Seattle is going to keep O’Keefe on the active roster beyond Casali’s return, they will have to make room for him. The M’s 40-man roster is currently full, and the only obvious 60-day IL candidate is lefty reliever Ryan Borucki, who has already been out since August 8th.