The Mariners announced a series of roster moves this afternoon. Outfielder Jake Fraley has been activated from the COVID-19 injured list, while fellow outfielder Marcus Wilson was claimed off waivers from the Red Sox and optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. In corresponding moves, infielder Shed Long landed on the 10-day injured list with a stress reaction in his right shin, while outfielder Dillon Thomas was designated for assignment.
Fraley tested positive for COVID on July 18, and he’s missed the past two weeks recuperating. Before that, the left-handed hitting outfielder was amidst a strong campaign. Fraley’s hitting .237/.409/.439 with seven home runs over 149 plate appearances. His returning to the field — and to that level of production — would be a critical boost for a Seattle team that finds itself 3.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race.
The Sox designated Wilson for assignment over the weekend to accommodate their trade deadline acquisitions. The 24-year-old has yet to make his big league debut but he’s been a prospect of some regard dating back to his time in the Diamondbacks organization. He has spent the year with Triple-A Worcester, hitting a strong .242/.370/.452 with ten homers across 265 trips to the plate, albeit with a concerning 33.2% strikeout rate. Wilson still has an additional minor league option year remaining beyond this season, so the M’s can move him between Seattle and Tacoma for the next year if he sticks on the 40-man roster.
The presence of a right shin injury is particularly concerning for Long, who suffered a stress fracture in the bone last year. That required surgery which kept him out of action until early June, and the area is again bothering him. Long has struggled between the injuries, hitting .198/.258/.360 in 34 games this season.
The roster shuffling costs Thomas his spot. The 28-year-old earned his first big league promotion in early June with a solid .273/.379/.458 performance at Tacoma. He’s only picked up nine plate appearances over four big league games, though, collecting one hit. Thomas will now find himself on outright waivers.