MLB Trade Rumors » » Seattle Mariners 2017-09-22T21:00:08Z Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Notes: Moreland, Duda, Rotation Depth]]> 2017-09-22T02:01:59Z 2017-09-22T01:19:35Z
  • The Mariners “are thought” to have some interest in Mitch Moreland and Lucas Duda as first base options this offseason, per Heyman. Seattle is currently deploying Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia as its primary first basemen, though both are eligible for free agency at season’s end. Prospect Dan Vogelbach serves as an in-house option, though he comes with fewer than 40 plate appearances of experience in the Majors.
  • While the Mariners have endured plenty of struggles in the rotation this season, club executives are pleased with the depth that comes with the additions of veteran Mike Leake and controllable young Marco Gonzales, writes Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Gonzales has struggled in the Majors thus far, but he’s had a generally solid year in Triple-A in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Leake, meanwhile, has bounced back terrifically in Seattle following a trade from the Cardinals. General manager Jerry Dipoto explained to Dutton that Leake has been worth two or more wins above replacement on a yearly basis and hasn’t seen his skill set significantly diminish, even through a rough stretch toward the end of his Cardinals tenure. Skipper Scott Servais spoke highly of right-hander Andrew Moore as well when chatting with Dutton. Dutton notes that the trio of Leake, Gonzales and Moore will pair with Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Erasmo Ramirez and Ariel Hernandez to once again give the club its fair share of depth next year.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[David Phelps Undergoes Elbow Surgery; Hisashi Iwakuma Has Structural Damage In Shoulder]]> 2017-09-20T00:15:42Z 2017-09-20T00:15:42Z Mariners right-hander David Phelps recently underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (Twitter links). That procedure will come with a recovery time of six to eight weeks, per Divish, but he’s expected to be ready to go for Spring Training in 2018.

    Unfortunately for the Mariners, there’s far more troublesome news surrounding the health of right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma. Evaluations on Iwakuma’s right shoulder have revealed some form of structural damage (more Twitter links from Divish), though the extent of the injury remains unclear at this time, as Iwakuma declined to specify the precise nature of his ailment. Iwakuma hopes to continue playing, but the 36-year-old will first need to ascertain the best course of treatment for his yet-unspecified injury.

    Phelps, 31 next month, was acquired from the Mariners earlier this summer in exchange for a package of four prospects headlined with outfielder Brayan Hernandez. The former Yankees swingman broke out with the Marlins in a high-leverage, late-inning role in 2016 and carried that success over into his brief tenure in the Seattle bullpen this year. Phelps worked to a 3.12 ERA with 11 strikeouts against four unintentional walks through 8 2/3 innings in the Mariners’ pen before ultimately being shut down for the year. He’s arbitration-eligible this winter, so he should be a key piece for the 2018 Mariners.

    Iwakuma’s future, obviously, is far murkier. The Mariners hold a $10MM club option over former All-Star, though with structural damage in his right shoulder it seems all but certain that Iwakuma will instead be bought out for $1MM. Iwakuma has spent his entire Major League career in a Mariners uniform and returned to the team as a free agent following the 2015 season. While his first year back with the club resulted in 199 innings of solid 4.12 ERA ball, he’s been limited to just 31 innings in 2017 and hasn’t pitched since May 3.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Servais On Mariners' Needs Entering Offseason]]> 2017-09-19T19:40:47Z 2017-09-19T15:59:35Z
  • Mariners skipper Scott Servais discussed his team’s season in comparison to that of the division-leading Astros, as Greg Johns of writes. Though Servais notes that he’s not focused on what the Houston organization is up to, he acknowledges that it has “set the bar” for the rest of the division. The second-year skipper believes his own ballclub needs to continue to “get more athletic and be able to defend” over the winter — though, of course, he also notes that the M’s haven’t given up on sneaking back into Wild Card position this year.
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    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Injury Notes: Hernandez, Wainwright, Marisnick, Johnson]]> 2017-09-14T18:22:33Z 2017-09-14T18:19:43Z As planned, Felix Hernandez will come off the DL to start tonight for the Mariners, according to a club announcement. It’ll be King Felix’s first start for Seattle since July 31st. It’s been a tough year for the righty so far (this was his second stint on the disabled list for issues with his throwing shoulder), but he’ll have a chance to turn things around and keep the Mariners breathing in the AL Wild Card chase.

    Some other injury news and updates from around MLB…

    • Cardinals righty Adam Wainwright threw a bullpen session today, according to a tweet from MLB beat reporter Jenifer Langosch. At this point in the season, and with the Cards three games back in a battle for the NL Central pennant, it seems likely that the veteran will pitch out of the bullpen upon his return. Langosch also notes that reliever Seung-hwan Oh threw a bullpen session as well, while Jedd Gyorko and Dexter Fowler took practice on the field.
    • Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick left Wednesday’s game with an apparent thumb injury after sliding into second base in the top of the third inning. Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle offers some thoughts on the unfortunate situation for the AL West-leading Astros, noting that the recently-acquired Cameron Maybin and rookie Derek Fisher are likely to see increases in playing time. The organization hasn’t released details on the severity of the injury, but manager A.J. Hinch offered that, “It doesn’t look good.” For reference, significant thumb injuries — such as fractures or ligament tears — frequently require absences of at least six to eight weeks. More information will likely be available sometime after Marisnick undergoes tests in Houston today.
    • Veteran reliever Jim Johnson of the Atlanta Braves has been diagnosed with achilles tendinitis, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. He remained in Atlanta while the team traveled to Washington, and Braves manager Brian Snitker says he’s unlikely to pitch this weekend. Johnson is in the first year of a 2-year, $10MM deal with the Braves. It remains to be seen whether he’ll pitch again this season, but its certainly an unfortunate development for Johnson after losing the closer role to Arodys Vizcaino already this season. For Atlanta, the loss of Johnson thins out a bullpen that already has the fifth-highest ERA among all major league teams.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[2017 Rule 5 Roundup]]> 2017-09-14T16:14:45Z 2017-09-14T14:15:17Z With just a few weeks left in the season, we have a pretty clear idea of which Rule 5 draft picks will stick with their drafting teams. At this point, having already carried the player this far and with expanded rosters easing any pressures, teams are quite likely to stay the course. Here’s how this season’s Rule 5 group has shaken out thus far:


    It isn’t official yet, but these

    • Miguel Diaz, RHP, kept by Padres (via Twins) from Brewers: As part of the Pads’ unusually bold Rule 5 strategy, the club kept three youngsters this year. Diaz, 22, has managed only a 6.21 ERA with a 31:22 K/BB ratio over 37 2/3 innings. But he is showing a 96 mph heater and will remain with the organization, quite likely heading back to the minors next season to continue his development.
    • Luis Torrens, C, kept by Padres (via Reds) from Yankees: The youthful backstop — he’s just 21 — has struggled badly on offense in limited action. Through 133 plate appearances, he’s slashing just.169/.246/.212 — with just four extra-base hits, none of them home runs.
    • Allen Cordoba, INF, kept by Padres from Cardinals: And then there’s Cordoba, who’s also just 21 years of age. He faded after a hot start at the plate, but on the whole his output — a .209/.284/.304 batting line and four home runs over 215 plate appearances — is fairly impressive given that he had never before played above Rookie ball.
    • Dylan Covey, RHP, kept by White Sox from Athletics: Technically, owing to a DL stint, Covey has only compiled 83 of the minimum 90 days of active roster time required to be kept. But he’s going to make it there before the season is up, meaning that the Sox will be able to hold onto his rights and option him back to the minors in 2018. Covey, 26, has struggled to a 7.90 ERA with 4.9 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 over 54 2/3 innings, allowing 18 long balls in that span.
    • Stuart Turner, C, kept by Reds from Twins: Turner has seen minimal action, appearing in just 33 games and taking only 77 trips to the plate. And he’s hitting just .141/.184/.268 in that sporadic action. Clearly, though, the Reds have seen enough to believe he’s worth the trouble to hang onto.

    Still In Limbo

    • Kevin Gadea, RHP, selected by Rays from Mariners: Gadea has not pitched at any level this year owing to an elbow injury. He’ll remain with the Tampa Bay organization for the time being, but will still need to be carried on the 40-man roster over the offseason and then on the active roster for at least ninety days for his rights to permanently transfer.
    • Armando Rivero, RHP, selected by Braves from Cubs: It’s the exact same situation for Rivero as for Gadea, though he has had shoulder problems.
    • Josh Rutledge, INF, selected by Red Sox from Rockies: This was not your typical Rule 5 move. Boston snagged the veteran infielder after he signed a minors deal with Colorado. He ended up seeing minimal MLB time owing to injuries and his season ended recently with hip surgery. Rutledge is eligible for arbitration this fall and isn’t likely to be kept on the 40-man roster regardless.
    • Anthony Santander, OF, selected by Orioles from Indians: Since he only made it off of the DL late in the summer, Santander can accrue only 45 days on the active roster. If Baltimore wants to keep him, then, it’ll need to put him on the Opening Day roster next year. Santander has seen minimal playing time thus far, recording two hits in twelve trips to the plate, though he put up impressive numbers on his rehab assignment.

    Kept By Other Means

    • Daniel Stumpf, LHP, signed with Tigers after electing free agency upon return to Royals: This is another unusual situation. As a previous Rule 5 returnee, Stumpf was eligible to elect free agency upon being returned to his original organization. That’s just what happened when Detroit sent him back to Kansas City; the southpaw then turned around and re-signed a MLB deal with the Tigers. He has ended up turning in a rather productive year, posting 32 1/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with 8.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 at the major-league level and showing even more impressive numbers during his time at Triple-A.

    Already Returned

    • Tyler Jones, RHP, returned to Yankees by Diamondbacks: Jones has thrown rather well at Triple-A since going back to the New York organization, posting 10.7 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings, though he has also allowed 4.38 earned per nine.
    • Caleb Smith, LHP, returned to Yankees by Brewers: Smith ended up earning a 40-man roster spot and spending some time in the majors after showing quite well as a starter in the minors. But he has been knocked around in his 18 2/3 MLB frames on the year.
    • Justin Haley, RHP, returned to Red Sox by Twins (via Angels): The 26-year-old didn’t stick with Minnesota, allowing a dozen earned runs in 18 innings before being returned to Boston. But he has thrown well since landing back at Triple-A Pawtucket, posting a 2.66 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 44 innings over seven starts.
    • Tyler Webb, LHP, returned to Yankees by Pirates: Webb also gained a 40-man spot with the Yankees after showing some intriguing K/BB numbers at Triple-A. He was ultimately dealt to the Brewers.
    • Aneury Tavarez, OF, returned to Red Sox by Orioles: Tavarez played his way back up to Triple-A upon his return to his former organization, but has hit just .244/.292/.400 in 145 plate appearances there.
    • Glenn Sparkman, RHP, returned to Royals by Blue Jays: Sparkman was bombed in his one MLB appearance and has been limited to just 30 1/3 minor-league frames due to injury.
    • Hoby Milner, LHP, returned to Phillies by Indians: Another player who has risen to the majors with the organization that originally let them leave via the Rule 5, Milner has turned in 24 1/3 frames of 1.85 ERA ball in Philadelphia. Of course, he has also managed just 15 strikeouts against ten walks in that span.
    • Mike Hauschild, RHP, returned to Astros by Rangers: The 27-year-old righty struggled badly in his eight MLB frames. Upon returning to the rotation for Houston’s top affiliate, Hauschild has uncharacteristically struggled with free passes (5.3 per nine).
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Dipoto Scouted Otani's Most Recent Start]]> 2017-09-12T16:30:48Z 2017-09-12T16:30:48Z As many as 16 teams had scouts and/or executives on hand to watch star right-hander Shohei Otani’s most recent start, reports Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times (Twitter links). Of particular note, Hernandez adds that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto was among the execs on hand to scout Otani. The start was just Otani’s third of the season, as he’s been hampered by ankle and hamstring injuries throughout the calendar year that have prevented him from getting on the mound. It’s not yet certain if the two-way phenom will be posted for MLB clubs to bid on this offseason — the new CBA’s strict limits on international spending have radically limited his earning power in that scenario — but if he does, virtually every team that is not currently restricted for shattering previous bonus pools would have interest in the 23-year-old. Otani posted a 1.80 ERA with a 174-to-45 K/BB ratio in 140 innings on the mound and hit .322/.416/.588 with 22 homers in 382 plate appearances last season. He’s hitting .346/.416/.574 with seven homers through 185 PAs as a designated hitter this year.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Jarrod Dyson Out For Remainder Of Season]]> 2017-09-11T21:41:05Z 2017-09-11T21:41:05Z Mariners outfielder Jarrod Dyson will miss the remainder of the season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports (Twitter links). He is slated to undergo surgery for “something similar to a sports hernia,” per the report.

    That’s a tough blow for a Seattle organization that had leaned rather heavily on Dyson this year. The 33-year-old’s speed and glovework are of particular value when it comes time to matching up and trying to squeeze out victories late in the year, but the M’s will need to look to alternatives the rest of the way. Divish notes that Guillermo Heredia will likely take the lion’s share of the work in center, with just-claimed newcomer Jacob Hannemann also figuring into the mix.

    Dyson has already passed his prior career high in plate appearances, picking up the bat 390 times this season for the Mariners. His .251/.324/.350 slash is closer to his career average than his strong 2016 season. The left-handed hitter struggling badly in limited exposure to same-handed pitching, managing just eight hits, all singles, in 63 trips to the plate.

    On the positive side, Dyson did nearly double his career output by hitting five home runs. But that’s obviously not where the value lies. Dyson has continued to provide big value on the bases and in the outfield grass, ranking in the top twenty in both areas by Fangraphs’ measure (see here and here) despite not even being a full-time player. In spite of his limitations, Dyson has posted 2.0 fWAR on the year.

    Seattle had shipped out righty Nate Karns to acquire Dyson over the offseason. The veteran outfielder came with just one final year of arbitration control, so he’s slated to hit the open market for the first time at season’s end. Dyson earned just $2.8MM in his last season of arb eligibility, but he’ll surely enter free agency looking for more.

    The injury likely won’t hurt Dyson’s market too badly. He’s a known quantity after 661 MLB games and there’s no reason to expect the injury will drag into next year. Dyson ought to be one of the most appealing platoon/reserve outfielders available, particularly since he bats from the left side and can be used as a late-inning replacement even when he doesn’t start.

    Kyle Downing <![CDATA[Phillies Claim Zac Curtis]]> 2017-09-11T19:56:36Z 2017-09-11T18:51:39Z The Mariners have announced that recently-designated left-hander Zac Curtis has been claimed by the Phillies. The Mariners also announced that right-hander Ryan Weber has been outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma.

    Curtis, 25, is best known for being part of the package the Diamondbacks sent along with shortstop Jean Segura in order to land Taijuan Walker from the Mariners. He did not allow an earned run in 4 2/3 innings at the major-league level this year and enjoyed some success with the Mariners’ Double-A affiliate, pitching to a 10.52 K/9 and 3.33 BB/9 with a 3.51 ERA in 51 1/3 innings. With two options and plenty of team control remaining, Curtis could be a nice cog in Philadelphia’s current rebuild.

    Weber was recently set to come off the 60-day DL. He’ll remain with the organization for now, but will have to work his way back to the majors. Before missing the past three months with a right biceps strain, Weber had pitched to a 0.85 ERA spanning five starts with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers. Though he didn’t show a penchant for strikeouts with the Rainiers (5.40 K/9), he showed excellent ground ball-inducing skills (72.5 GB%).

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Iwakuma, Dyson Face Mounting Odds Against 2017 Returns]]> 2017-09-10T23:50:57Z 2017-09-10T23:50:57Z
  • Hisashi Iwakuma and Jarrod Dyson are running out of time to make it back to the Mariners’ active roster before the end of the season, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune writes. Iwakuma, who’s missed four months with shoulder issues, is still hopeful he’ll return this season, but manager Scott Servais says Iwakuma has “still got a little work to do” after throwing 30 pitches in a simulated game Saturday. Dutton adds that the Mariners are likely to pay a $1M buyout rather than exercise Iwakuma’s $10MM option next season. Dyson, who’s out with a strained groin, still felt pain upon participating in drills on Friday. He’s a free agent after the season.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[James Paxton,Felix Hernandez Set To Return]]> 2017-09-09T23:40:50Z 2017-09-09T23:40:50Z
  • The Mariners will welcome James Paxton and Felix Hernandez back to their rotation during the upcoming week, Greg Johns of relays (on Twitter). Both hurlers will hover around the 50- to 60-pitch marks during their first starts back. Paxton went on the disabled list with a strained left pectoral on Aug. 11, depriving the Mariners of a burgeoning ace for a key stretch. Hernandez, who preceded Paxton as the Mariners’ top starter, landed on the DL on Aug. 5 with shoulder bursitis. The 31-year-old previously missed all of May and most of June with the same injury.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 9/6/17]]> 2017-09-06T23:05:50Z 2017-09-06T22:23:08Z We’ll use this post to track the day’s minor moves:

    • The Mariners have outrighted utilityman Shawn O’Malley to Triple-A, per a club announcement. He had previously been designated for assignment. As Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune notes on Twitter, that’s more or less a formality at this stage of the year, as O’Malley will be able to enter the open market at year’s end as a minor-league free agent. Of course, he’ll still be on hand if a need arises over the next three weeks. O’Malley, 29, has not appeared in the majors this year but did see 89 games of action for Seattle in 2016. The former fifth-round draft pick hit just .229/.299/.319 in his 232 plate appearances last year, though, and then missed a big chunk of time earlier this season owing to an appendectomy and shoulder problems. O’Malley has hit just .205/.250/282 in twenty games of action at Triple-A in the current campaign.
    • Also outrighted, per the Padres, was righty Kevin Quackenbush. He had entered the season on track to qualify for arbitration at season’s end, but only appeared in twenty contests while struggling to a 7.86 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9. Quackenbush is still just 28 and has had far more productive stints in the majors in the recent past. He also managed a 3.90 ERA in his 27 2/3 Triple-A frames. While his outlook with the Pads remains cloudy, then, he could receive a shot at earning a bullpen spot — in San Diego or elsewhere — in Spring Training next year.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Release Evan Scribner]]> 2017-09-05T21:23:54Z 2017-09-05T21:23:54Z The Mariners announced on Tuesday that they’ve requested release waivers on right-hander Evan Scribner. Seattle also announced that outfielder Jacob Hannemann, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs yesterday, and first baseman Dan Vogelbach are both being brought up to the Majors.

    Scribner, 32, has been on the 60-day disabled list for most of the season due to a flexor strain. That marks the second straight season that has been nearly entirely wiped out by injury for Scribner, as he tossed just 14 1/3 innings in the Majors last year, owing to a strained right lat.

    Seattle initially acquired Scribner from the division-rival Athletics in a minor December swap that sent right-hander Trey Cochran-Gill to Oakland. Scribner had posted an otherworldly 64-to-4 K/BB ratio through 60 innings with the A’s a year prior, though he also featured lackluster velocity and was susceptible to the long ball.

    In a total of 21 1/3 innings as a member of the Mariners’ bullpen, Scribner posted a 3.80 ERA with a similarly excellent 21-to-2 K/BB ratio (one of the walks was intentional in nature), though he also served up three home runs in that relatively brief time.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Claim Hannemann, Frankoff; Curtis Designated; Phelps To 60-Day DL]]> 2017-09-04T19:55:09Z 2017-09-04T19:41:12Z 2:41pm: The Mariners announced that they’ve not only claimed Hannemann off waivers from the Cubs but also right-hander Seth Frankoff, who was designated for assignment last Friday. In order to clear spot on the 40-man roster, Seattle has transferred David Phelps to the 60-day DL and designated lefty Zac Curtis for assignment. Phelps’ placement on the 60-day DL will end his season.

    Frankoff, 29, made his big league debut with the Cubs this season but tossed only two innings. He’s spent the bulk of his career in the Athletics’ minor league ranks and has pitched to a 4.40 ERA with 9.2 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 through 116 2/3 innings in Triple-A Iowa this year — mostly out of the rotation (21 starts, three relief appearances).

    Curtis, 25, was acquired alongside Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger in last winter’s Taijuan Walker trade with the D-backs. He made just three appearances with the Mariners’ big league club and spent the remainder of the season with Triple-A Tacoma. The DFA of Curtis comes as at least a moderate surprise, as he’s worked to a respectable 3.51 ERA through 51 1/3 innings with Tacoma, where he’s averaged 10.5 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 with a 40.9 percent grounder rate.

    The loss of Phelps is an unfortunate development for the Mariners, who traded four minor leaguers (albeit only one that was especially well-regarded) in order to obtain him from the Marlins earlier this summer. Phelps has been very good in Seattle when healthy, allowing just three runs with 11 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings as a Mariner.

    However, a right elbow impingement will prevent him from appearing again this season. On the plus side for the Mariners, Phelps is controlled through 2018, so there’s hope that he can return to play an important role in next year’s relief corps.

    1:39pm: The Mariners have claimed outfield prospect Jacob Hannemann off waivers from the Cubs, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter). MLBTR had just reported that Hannemann would lose his 40-man roster spot, though it seems that his removal and subsequent placement on waivers was already in the works. He’ll land on Seattle’s 40-man roster.

    The 26-year-old Hannemann has split the 2017 season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa, hitting considerably better at the more advanced of those two levels. Through 322 PAs with Iowa, Hannemann has slashed .265/.324/.404, though his rough stretch in Tennessee drags his cumulative batting line down to a less palatable .240/.312/.372.

    Baseball America rated Hannemann as Chicago’s No. 23 prospect this past offseason, writing that he has 70-grade speed and is the “best athlete in the Cubs system.” However, he also has a fringy arm in the outfield, per their report, and has never demonstrated that much power in the minors.

    Hannemann’s speed and defensive ability are traits that the Jerry Dipoto-led Mariners have prioritized, as evidenced by this regime’s acquisitions of players such as Jarrod Dyson, Mitch Haniger and Ben Gamel (among others). With that trio lining up for starting duties, plus Guillermo Heredia, Danny Valencia and Taylor Motter all representing outfield options on the bench, it’s not clear if Hannemann will receive the opportunity to join the Mariners as a September call-up. But, he was only just added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster this past winter, meaning he has two minor league options remaining and figures to compete for a job next spring.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Mariners Designate Shawn O’Malley For Assignment]]> 2017-09-02T20:02:10Z 2017-09-02T20:00:21Z The Mariners have designated utilityman Shawn O’Malley for assignment, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times tweets. The move clears space on the team’s 40-man roster for infielder Gordon Beckham, whose contract the Mariners have selected from Triple-A Tacoma.

    The 29-year-old O’Malley played a significant role on the 2016 Mariners, batting .229/.299/.319 in 89 games while playing six positions. This year, however, he missed time due to an appendectomy, then a significant shoulder injury. He hasn’t appeared in the big leagues at all and hasn’t hit much in 20 games with Tacoma as he’s tried to shake off the rust.

    Beckham signed with the Mariners after the Giants released him near the end of Spring Training. He’s produced a .262/.313/.393 line this season for Tacoma. The veteran played in 88 games last year with the Braves and Giants, batting .212/.294/.347. He should provide a bit of extra infield depth for the Mariners down the stretch.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Outright Bergman, Place Phelps On DL, Announce Promotions]]> 2017-09-01T23:38:11Z 2017-09-01T23:38:11Z The Mariners have outrighted right-hander Christian Bergman, per a club announcement. That move clears another 40-man roster slot after the team lost righty Sam Gaviglio to a waiver claim earlier today; it’s also just one of the many transactions entered today by the ever-active M’s front office.

    Righty David Phelps has returned to the 10-day DL due to an elbow impingement. He missed time earlier this month and has not looked himself of late. Indeed, Phelps has lost about two miles per hour on his average fastball as compared with the first four months of the season.

    In more positive news relating to injuries, both outfielder Jarrod Dyson and righty Shae Simmons have returned from their own runs on the disabled list. The latter had been on the 60-day DL while working back from a flexor strain.

    Catcher Mike Marjama was added to the 40-man roster and promoted to give the team another option behind the dish. The team also activated just-acquired righty Mike Leake.

    With no limitations on the active roster, the M’s have also brought up a few players that were on optional assignment. Three right-handed pitchers — Dan Altavilla, Ryan Garton, and Andrew Moore — are on their way to help bolster the bullpen.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Royals Claim Sam Gaviglio, Release Neftali Feliz]]> 2017-09-01T19:55:48Z 2017-09-01T19:51:18Z The Royals have claimed righty Sam Gaviglio off waivers from the Mariners, per an announcement from the Seattle organization. Kansas City, meanwhile, has released veteran hurler Neftali Feliz,’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets.

    That move will open a 40-man spot for the M’s as they put together a slate of September call-ups. Gaviglio, 27, debuted this year for Seattle, working to a 4.62 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 over 62 1/3 innings. He was tagged for 15 long balls in that span. Gaviglio did throw better at Triple-A, though, posting a 3.88 ERA across 72 frames in 13 outings.

    As for Feliz, the 29-year-old landed with the Royals after an unsuccessful run with the Brewers earlier this year. He gave K.C. twenty outings of 4.74 ERA ball, averaging 7.6 strikeouts and 3.8 walks per nine. Milwaukee will continue to pay the remainder of the $5.35MM owed to Feliz for the season.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cubs Acquire Leonys Martin]]> 2017-09-01T04:18:16Z 2017-09-01T04:05:08Z The Cubs announced to reporters just before tonight’s deadline for postseason roster eligibility that they’ve acquired outfielder Leonys Martin and cash from the Mariners in exchange for a player to be named later or cash (Twitter link via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times).

    Leonys Martin | Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY SportsThe addition of Martin will give the Cubs a fleet-footed reserve outfielder to serve as a pinch-runner and/or late-inning defensive upgrade, at the very least, over the season’s final month. While such players aren’t rostered throughout the bulk of the regular season, the month of September is its own animal; rosters expand to 40 beginning Sept. 1, allowing teams the luxury of having this type of highly specialized player on board.

    Of course, Martin isn’t that far removed from being regarded in considerably better fashion. He logged a .247/.306/.378 batting line with 15 homers and 24 steals as Seattle’s primary center fielder in 2016. While that line checks in below the league average, Martin’s glove and baserunning prowess still allowed him to check in at 2.2 wins above replacement, per Fangraphs. And from 2013-14, Martin contributed more than six total WAR thanks largely to his speed and defense.

    While those heights appear likely to be squarely in the past for Martin, he’s posted a strong .307/.348/.494 batting line with 11 homers and 25 steals in 87 Triple-A contests this season. He’s earning $4.85MM this year after avoiding arbitration last offseason, but the inclusion of cash from the Mariners surely indicates that they’re picking up the majority of the tab on that salary. Martin seems a likely candidate to join the Cubs’ big league roster in the very near future, where he’ll look to improve on the dismal .174/.221/.287 slash he’s posted through 122 plate appearances in the Majors this year.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Mike Leake]]> 2017-08-30T19:55:16Z 2017-08-30T15:12:36Z 12:07pm: The Cardinals will send the Mariners around $17MM, Rosenthal tweets.

    10:12am: In a surprising development, the Cardinals have dealt righty Mike Leake to the Mariners. Young infielder Rayder Ascanio will go to St. Louis in the swap, with $750K of international bonus pool spending capacity and unannounced cash considerations also heading to Seattle.

    Aug 15, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mike Leake (8) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

    It’s not yet known how much cash the M’s will take on in the deal or what players may be headed in return. Leake had already cleared revocable waivers, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). That was to be expected. Leake is earning $15MM this year, with about $2.5MM left to go. He remains under contract through 2020, with a $53MM total guarantee — including a $5MM buyout of a 2021 mutual option.

    Leake’s contract includes full no-trade protection, so his approval was required for the deal to go through. He has indeed waived the clause, per Nightengale (Twitter link). Notably, Leake has spoken of his desire to be closer to family in Arizona and will now at least get to spend Spring Training there; that motivation and others may have aided his decision.

    [RELATED: Updated Mariners & Cardinals Depth Charts]

    Since signing on with the Cards before the 2016 season, Leake has shown the durability that earned him the contract, throwing 330 2/3 innings over 56 starts. But he has also managed only a 4.46 cumulative ERA while compiling 6.2 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9. Leake has struggled especially of late, working to an 8.88 ERA in his five starts in August.

    Assuming he can get back on track, Leake will help steady a Seattle rotation that has faced a steady barrage of injuries. Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, and Drew Smyly are all on the DL, with only the first two expected to return this season. The club has fallen three games off of the AL Wild Card pace, but evidently still feels compelled to push for the postseason this year.

    Of course, Leake will also represent a piece of the future picture. The Mariners will almost certainly bid adieu to Iwakuma, Smyly, and Yovani Gallardo over the winter. Erasmo Ramirez and even David Phelps — both acquired earlier this summer — could be rotation options (though the latter has worked from the pen), as could Gonzales. Still the team was clearly in need of at least one more arm to go along with King Felix and the Big Maple.

    This is the second notable recent swap between these organizations, who had previously struck a deal that sent young lefty Marco Gonzales to Seattle for outfielder Tyler O’Neill. Leake may well end up bumping Gonzales out of the Mariners rotation for the time being.

    Seattle will also pick up some bonus pool money, which St. Louis wasn’t able to utilize anyway following penalties for prior spending. The Cards will also add the 21-year-old Ascanio, a middle infielder out of Venezuela. Ascanio has played at the Class A and High-A levels this year, posting a .217/.295/.355 slash over 450 total plate appearances. That’s not a lot of offense, though he has knocked nine balls over the fence — more than he had over his four prior professional seasons combined.

    St. Louis remains in the hunt for both the NL Central crown and a Wild Card spot, though the team enters play today five games out of the postseason picture. While the rotation has had its issues, Luke Weaver has emerged as a quality option since returning to the majors recently, perhaps freeing the club to deal Leake. Another young righty, Jack Flaherty, likely isn’t far behind.

    Ultimately, dealing Leake may have more to do with future considerations than the club’s immediate postseason hopes. Moving some of the contract will open some payroll space for 2018 and beyond, though it also takes away one rotation option with Lance Lynn slated to hit the open market and Adam Wainwright entering the final year of his contract. The club does still control Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, in addition to the two talented but less-experienced arms noted above, and will hopefully welcome Alex Reyes back into the fold next year. Parting with Leake, though, could conceivably keep the door open for the return of Lynn or lead the team to acquire another rotation piece over the offseason.

    Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter) first said a deal involving Leake was close, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter).’s Jen Langosch tweeted the detail on the international money.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/28/17]]> 2017-08-28T15:09:33Z 2017-08-28T15:09:33Z Here are Monday’s minor moves throughout the league…

    • The Mariners announced that they’ve once again selected the contract of right-hander Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma, with fellow righty Dan Altavilla being optioned out to open a 25-man roster spot. This marks the third time that the Mariners have added the 29-year-old Bergman to the 40-man roster in 2017 alone. The former Rockies hurler has twice been designated for assignment as well, accepting outright assignments to Tacoma in both instances. Bergman has tossed 51 1/3 innings for the Mariners this season and averaged 5.8 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 with a 38 percent ground-ball rate. The resulting 4.91 ERA (5.62 FIP, 5.18 xFIP, 4.99 SIERA) isn’t especially inspiring, but Bergman adds some length to a Mariners pitching staff that has been ravaged by injuries in 2017. As for the 24-year-old Altavilla, he tossed three innings in yesterday’s game, so he wouldn’t have been available for a couple of days anyhow.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Robinson Cano's Hamstring Strain Considered Minor]]> 2017-08-26T17:12:18Z 2017-08-26T17:02:47Z Robinson Cano isn’t in today’s Mariners lineup, marking the second baseman’s second straight missed game since suffering a minor hamstring strain on Wednesday.  Cano is able to pinch-hit today, however, and manager Scott Servais told reporters (including Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times) yesterday that Cano’s injury is “about as slight as you get on the Grade 1 side” of a hamstring strain.  It certainly looks like Cano will able to avoid the disabled list, which is a boon for a Mariners team in the thick of the wild card race.  Here are some more injury updates from around the league…

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Outright Leonys Martin]]> 2017-08-25T18:17:08Z 2017-08-25T18:17:58Z Aug. 25: The Mariners announced on Friday that Martin has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Tacoma.

    Aug. 23: The Mariners have designated outfielder Leonys Martin for assignment, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). Martin’s active roster spot will go to David Phelps, who was activated from the 10-day DL.

    This represents the second trip through DFA limbo on the year for Martin, who was outrighted and later re-selected to the roster. The 29-year-old was much better in his second stint this season, but still managed only a .230/.266/.426 batting line in the 64 plate appearances since he returned to the majors in late July.

    Martin is likely to clear waivers, given that he is earning $4.85MM for the season, and can elect free agency if he is outrighted. Doing so, however, would mean forfeiting the remainder of that $4.85MM payday — a sum of roughly $1.03MM. (Players do not earn the right to reject an outright and retain their salary until clearing five years of MLB service.) Martin is eligible for arbitration again this fall, but it seems all but certain he’ll be non-tendered even if he stays in the Seattle organization through the end of the year.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cano Headed For Hamstring MRI; Heredia Receiving X-Rays On Wrist]]> 2017-08-24T14:07:08Z 2017-08-24T14:00:06Z The Mariners picked up a win last night, but they incurred a pair of potential injuries in the process, writes Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. The Mariners announced last night that Robinson Cano exited the game with tightness in his hamstring, while Guillermo Heredia exited the game after being hit on the wrist by a 92 mph Jason Motte fastball. Cano said he felt something in his hamstring “right away” as he was coming out of the batter’s box on a double to left field, and he’s slated for an MRI this morning. Heredia remained in the game to run the bases after being plunked but came out of the game after that half inning. He’ll undergo x-rays today. The Mariners are shorthanded at the moment after designating Leonys Martin for assignment and losing Shawn O’Malley to a concussion in Triple-A, Divish notes, though the pair of open 40-man spots allows some flexibility should Cano and/or Heredia require DL stints.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Sign Ashur Tolliver]]> 2017-08-24T02:41:22Z 2017-08-24T02:39:32Z
  • The Mariners signed southpaw Ashur Tolliver after he was released by the Astros. The 29-year-old has twice briefly cracked the majors, but suddenly ran into control problems at Triple-A this season, posting an ugly 7.43 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 34 walks in his 36 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Seattle cut loose infielder Jeff Kobernus, who managed only a .222/.279/.252 slash in 150 plate appearances at Double-A on the season.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Servais' Contract Reportedly Runs Through 2018]]> 2017-08-24T02:12:32Z 2017-08-24T02:07:54Z
  • Details surrounding the contract of Mariners skipper Scott Servais weren’t reported or announced when he was initially hired, but’s Jon Morosi reports today that Servais is signed through the 2018 season (Twitter link). That would indicate that the first-time manager inked a three-year deal in his first term at the helm in Seattle. While Servais’ Mariners aren’t guaranteed a postseason spot, they’re right in the thick of the Wild Card hunt, sitting just two games back. That’s an impressive feat for a Mariners team that has seen Felix Hernandez, James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma all spend significant time on the DL while projected rotation member Drew Smyly was lost for the year due to injuries without ever throwing a regular-season pitch.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Place Danny Espinosa On Release Waivers]]> 2017-08-20T14:27:03Z 2017-08-20T14:08:33Z The Mariners have placed infielder Danny Espinosa on release waivers, according to a team announcement. Espinosa lasted less than a month with the Mariners, who signed him July 23. They recalled utilityman Taylor Motter from Triple-A Tacoma in a corresponding move.

    This is the second time this season a team has released Espinosa. The Angels, who acquired the 30-year-old in a trade with the Nationals over the winter, cut ties with him July 20. Espinosa batted a paltry .162/.237/.276 in 254 plate appearances as the Halos’ starting second baseman and turned in a similar line with the Mariners – .188/.235/.313 – albeit over just 17 PAs. He lined up at first, second, third and shortstop during his brief stay in Seattle.

    The 2017 campaign has been disastrous for Espinosa, though he was a fairly solid middle infielder in Washington from 2010-16. Espinosa posted three different seasons of at least 2.0 fWAR during that 2,972-PA span, thanks largely to excellent defense, and contributed some pop (92 home runs) and baserunning value (60 steals and a 15.2 BsR, per FanGraphs). The switch-hitting Espinosa slugged a career-best 24 homers last season (with a less-than-stellar .209/.306/.378 line in 601 PAs, granted), but the Nats moved on from him and his $5.43MM salary after acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton in an early winter blockbuster trade with the White Sox and shifting Trea Turner from center to shortstop.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Mariners Sign Ashur Tolliver]]> 2017-08-19T21:31:55Z 2017-08-19T19:07:39Z
  • The Mariners have signed lefty Ashur Tolliver to a minor-league deal, according to an announcement from the Double-A Arkansas Travelers, to whom he’s been assigned. This will be Tolliver’s second stint with the Travelers — he briefly pitched for them last season, when they were an Angels affiliate. The Astros released Tolliver last week after he posted a 7.13 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and an alarming 8.4 BB/9 in 35 1/3 innings of relief with Triple-A Fresno. The 29-year-old has pitched brief big-league stints for Baltimore and Houston the past two seasons.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/16/17]]> 2017-08-16T19:34:50Z 2017-08-16T19:34:50Z Here are some of the latest minor moves from around the game, courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy except where otherwise noted:

    • The Mariners outrighted right-hander Christian Bergman to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, per a club announcement. Bergman, 29, had the right to opt for free agency now or at the end of the season; given that he’s now listed on Tacoma’s roster, it seems he’ll wait and consider the latter option when the time comes. Bergman, 29, has thrown 51 1/3 innings on the year for Seattle, working to a 4.91 ERA with 5.9 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9.
    • Outfielder Daniel Robertson will return to the Indians on a minors deal after being designated for assignment and then released, the club announced. The 31-year-old has appeared in each of the past four MLB campaigns — each time with a different team.  This year, he took 88 plate appearances for Cleveland, slashing .225/.287/.338. While it’s not clear whether Robertson will factor at the major league level again this year, the fleet-footed, high-contact 31-year-old could conceivably make for a useful bench piece once rosters expand in September.
    • The Diamondbacks have added right-handers Andury Acevedo and Louis Coleman on minors deals. Acevedo, who’ll soon turn 27, was intriguing enough to land a 40-man spot with the Cubs a few years back, but has yet to show any consistency on the mound in the upper minors. As for Coleman, who threw 48 innings of 4.69 ERA ball last year for the Dodgers, he’ll return to Arizona after briefly testing the open market. He has worked to a 2.05 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 over 57 innings this year in stints with the D-Backs’ and Reds’ top affiliates.
    • Heading to the Reds on a minors deal is slugging outfielder Adam Walker. He has bounced around via waiver claims and minor-league deals of late, seeing time in three organizations thus far in 2017. All told, he has compiled a tepid .185/.220/.410 batting line — with a dozen home runs but also 88 strikeouts against just ten walks — in his 241 plate appearances in the upper minors.
    • The White Sox released infielder Grant Green, who had previously seen brief action in the majors this year with the Nationals. On the season, Green owns an overall .232/.306/.300 slash over 245 plate appearances at the Triple-A level with those two organizations. The 29-year-old was once considered a notable possible contributor with the Athletics and Angels, but has managed only a .248/.283/.336 batting line in his 353 trips to the plate in the majors.
    • Six-year MLB veteran Collin Cowgill has been released by the Padres. Cowgill, 31, joined the organization on a minors deal over the winter, but never earned a crack at a return to the majors. He carries a .235/.297/.390 slash through 220 plate appearances
    • Finally, the Rangers have released lefty Bobby LaFromboise and righty Jaye Chapman. The former has made 27 MLB appearances and shown some intriguing numbers at times, but struggled last year at Triple-A with the Phillies and was sidelined for much of the current season. The 30-year-old Chapman, meanwhile, is looking to work back toward the majors for the first time since his lone stint back in 2012. But he was hit hard in his 36 2/3 innings at Triple-A Round Rock, with a 6.63 ERA and 6.9 K/9 against 5.2 BB/9.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Designate Christian Bergman For Assignment]]> 2017-08-15T21:48:26Z 2017-08-15T21:46:44Z The Mariners have designated right-hander Christian Bergman for assignment, per a team announcement. Bergman’s DFA is but one of several moves from the Mariners, who have also selected the contract of southpaw Andrew Albers (as was reported by’s Greg Johns yesterday), recalled righty Sam Gaviglio from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned right-handers Casey Lawrence and Thyago Vieira to Tacoma.

    Bergman, 29, has already been outrighted off the 40-man roster once this season and had only recently had his contract re-selected. The longtime Rockies hurler has logged 51 1/3 innings for the Mariners this season, working to a 4.91 ERA with 5.8 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 and a 38 percent ground-ball rate over the life of his two stints with Seattle.

    Bergman and Albers are just two of the staggering 16 arms that the Mariners have used to start a game in 2017, Johns points out (on Twitter). That’s the most starters used by any single team in a season since the 2006 Royals, he adds, and the M’s certainly have to add to that eye-popping total (though they’d undoubtedly prefer to avoid doing so if possible).

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners To Select Contract Of Andrew Albers]]> 2017-08-15T02:10:37Z 2017-08-15T02:10:37Z The Mariners will select the contract of just-acquired lefty Andrew Albers, per’s Greg Johns (via Twitter). He’ll step into the rotation spot that opened when James Paxton hit the DL.

    It’s not yet known how the M’s will clear roster space, but corresponding moves will need to be made before the scheduled start tomorrow. Albers is not on the 40-man roster, as he was playing on a minor-league deal when Seattle dealt for him on Friday.

    Albers has not yet made an appearance, so his first work in his new organization will come at the major league level. The southpaw has seen the majors in the past, though only for 79 2/3 total innings, most of which came back in 2013.

    That said, Albers has been quite good this year for the top Braves affiliate. He  owns 2.61 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 over his 120 2/3 innings. The soft-tossing control artist also owns a solid 46.1% groundball rate.

    Needless to say, it’s hard to land pitching in August, so the M’s will hope their creative solution pays dividends. Albers was not on a 40-man roster and therefore did not need to pass through waivers to be traded.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Latest On Injuries To Felix, Phelps]]> 2017-08-14T16:58:17Z 2017-08-14T16:55:26Z
  • Six days after landing on the disabled list due to bursitis in his right shoulder, Felix Hernandez is still at the strength-building stage of his recovery, Mariners manager Scott Servais tells Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Hernandez is currently on anti-inflammatory medication but has yet to begin throwing. His initial three- to four-week recovery timeline appears unchanged. There’s better news on David Phelps, though, Dutton writes. He’s progressing through a throwing program and could be activated as soon as this weekend against the Rays.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Have Attempted To Acquire Ervin Santana]]> 2017-08-13T21:00:03Z 2017-08-13T21:00:03Z The Mariners have made multiple attempts to acquire right-hander Ervin Santana from the Twins, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. However, with the Twins currently ahead of the Mariners in the standings, Seattle’s dream of adding Santana is “on hold,” notes Divish. It’s unclear whether the Twins have placed Santana on revocable waivers this month, but as a proven mid-rotation type who’s under control through next season at a fair price ($13.5MM), it’s possible another team in front of the Mariners in the waiver pecking order would claim him. Moreover, the Twins aren’t all that interested in trading Santana, FanRag’s Jon Heyman suggested this week. Regardless, considering the injuries in their rotation – including to ace James Paxton – the playoff-contending Mariners need to find starting help. With that in mind, Divish lists a slew of righties (Marco Estrada, Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Miguel Gonzalez, R.A. Dickey and Scott Feldman) and a southpaw (Derek Holland) as logical August trade targets.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mariners Select Christian Bergman's Contract]]> 2017-08-13T15:00:31Z 2017-08-13T14:39:37Z
  • The Mariners selected the contract of righty Christian Bergman prior to yesterday’s game (Bergman got some immediate use, tossing a scoreless inning in Seattle’s 6-3 loss to the Angels.)  Right-hander Andrew Moore was optioned to Triple-A in a corresponding move.  Bergman has a 5.32 ERA, 5.7 K/9 and 2.14 K/BB rate in 47 1/3 innings for the M’s this season, with eight of his 10 appearances coming as a starting pitcher.  He was outrighted by the Mariners just last week, though made a relatively quick return to not just 40-man status, but the big league roster.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Sign Jeanmar Gomez To Minor League Deal]]> 2017-08-13T01:54:15Z 2017-08-13T01:54:15Z The Mariners have signed reliever Jeanmar Gomez to a minor league contract, as Triple-A Tacoma broadcaster Mike Curto reports that the Rainiers added the right-hander to their roster on Saturday (Twitter link). Gomez opted out of his minors pact with the Brewers on Monday, according to KKTV 11 in Colorado Springs.

    The 29-year-old Gomez signed with the Brewers less than a month ago, on July 15, and performed well with their Colorado Springs-based Triple-A affiliate. Gomez totaled 8 1/3 innings with the club and allowed two earned runs on seven hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts. He wasn’t nearly as effective at the major league level this year with the Phillies, who released him June 24. Philadelphia parted with Gomez after he turned in a 7.25 ERA across 22 1/3 innings and experienced a dip in his already low velocity, though he did post career-best strikeout and walk numbers (8.46 K/9 and 2.82 BB/9) and a 50.7 percent ground-ball rate.

    If Gomez ultimately gets to Seattle, it’ll be his fourth major league club since he debuted with the Indians in 2010. Gomez was at his best with the Pirates from 2013-15, when he combined for 3.28 ERA and a 51.5 percent grounder rate in 142 2/3 innings. Last season, Gomez’s first in Philadelphia, he served as the team’s closer and continued to eat innings (68 2/3) and induce grounders (52 percent). Gomez fell out of favor, though, with an 8.33 ERA during the season’s second half. Overall, he registered a 4.85 ERA and 37 saves, earning him $4.2MM in his final year of arbitration eligibility.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners To Acquire Andrew Albers]]> 2017-08-12T00:28:19Z 2017-08-12T00:13:10Z The Mariners have struck a deal with the Braves to acquire lefty Andrew Albers, per David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). Cash considerations will make up the return in the deal.

    Albers had been working at Triple-A Gwinnett; now, he’ll help bolster the depth for the Mariners, who have suffered a variety of pitching injuries of late. The 31-year-old has limited experience in the majors, with just 17 total appearances  over parts of three seasons, but he has shown rather well this year at the highest level of the minors.

    Through his 120 2/3 innings to date for Gwinnett — covering 17 starts as well as nine relief appearances — Albers carries a 2.61 ERA. He’s also carrying 8.6 K/9 against just 1.4 BB/9 as well as a solid 46.1% groundball rate.

    Whether Seattle intends to bring Albers up in the near-term isn’t clear. At a minimum, he’ll provide the organization with a new depth piece as it filters arms up to account for the recent DL placements of David Phelps, Felix Hernandez, and James Paxton.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Place James Paxton On 10-Day DL]]> 2017-08-11T22:48:25Z 2017-08-11T22:38:03Z The Mariners have placed top lefty James Paxton on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He is dealing with a strained left pectoral muscle. Young starter Andrew Moore has been recalled to take the open roster spot.

    Paxton is expected to miss at least three weeks of action, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times (via Twitter). That’s a significant blow for the M’s, who are already dealing with other pitching injuries while trying to edge out numerous other competitors for a Wild Card spot.

    Losing Paxton, though, is about more than just the need to find a serviceable replacement. He has emerged as one of the game’s top starters this year, throwing 119 2/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball with 10.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 to go with a 47.2% groundball rate. Seattle will go without the player who has easily been its best this year — at just about the worst possible time.

    Unfortunately, there’ may not be much that the Mariners can do but dip into the farm and hope for the best. While the August trade market could still hold some possibilities, the best among them will be costly. Given the prior additions the club has made, it’s far from clear how much appetite there is to take on more salary or sacrifice additional prospects.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Outright Tuffy Gosewisch]]> 2017-08-11T01:58:21Z 2017-08-10T22:30:34Z
  • The Mariners announced that they’ve outrighted catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to Triple-A Tacoma. The team designated Gosewisch for assignment after its minor trade with the Rays last weekend. Gosewisch hadn’t suited up for the Mariners since May, a month in which he appeared in 11 games and struggled to an .071/.103/.071 line in 31 plate appearances. The 33-year-old has been better this season in Tacoma, albeit not great, with a .219/.310/.358 performance in 249 PAs. To Gosewisch’s credit, though, he has done a nice job holding would-be base stealers at bay throughout his pro career, and has caught 18 of 52 attempted thieves (35 percent) with the Rainiers this season.
  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 8/9/17]]> 2017-08-10T00:10:01Z 2017-08-10T00:10:01Z Here are the day’s minor moves:

    • The White Sox have added righty Steve Johnson from the Orioles, per an announcement from the latter organization. Cash considerations are heading back in return. Johnson, 29, becomes the latest pitcher added to the Triple-A roster by the South Siders, who are lining up options for the MLB roster down the stretch. He has 76 major league frames of 4.26 ERA pitching on his ledger, with 10.2 K/9 but also 5.6 BB/9 in that stretch. The free passes have never been quite as much of an issue for Johnson in the minors, though, where he has been excellent at times. Things haven’t gone quite as well this year, though, as Johnson owns a 5.30 ERA in his 37 1/3 frames — though he has still managed more than a strikeout per inning.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Outright Cody Martin]]> 2017-08-09T19:34:14Z 2017-08-09T19:34:14Z The Mariners announced today that they’ve outrighted Cody Martin off the 40-man roster. The right-hander will return to Triple-A Tacoma, and Seattle’s 40-man roster now has an open spot for a potential addition.

    Martin, 28 next month, has appeared in just one game for the Mariners this season, though he also made nine appearances with Seattle in 2016. Through 27 2/3 innings in his career as a Mariner, he’s allowed 14 earned runs (4.55 ERA) with a 15-to-11 K/BB ratio and a 46.2 percent ground-ball rate. Martin has also had brief stints with the A’s and Braves, leading to a collective 6.33 ERA in 58 1/3 MLB frames.

    A former seventh-round pick, Martin does have a nice track record in Triple-A, where he’s logged a combined 3.66 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 467 2/3 innings across parts of five seasons. Given that relatively solid output, the Mariners certainly won’t mind keeping him on hand as a depth option, but the vacant 40-man spot will give the team further flexibility to make some additions — either by selecting a contract of a non-40-man player already in the organization or by claiming/trading for yet another new asset. GM Jerry Dipoto is among the game’s most active executives and has already added Yonder Alonso, Ryan Garton, Mike Marjama and Ernesto Frieri this month.

    Alternatively, the vacancy could go to a player currently on the 60-day DL, as Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times suggests (Twitter link). Right-hander Shae Simmons is about the only player that’d fit that bill in the immediate future. He’s been on a rehab assignment in Tacoma and made his most recent appearance on Sunday.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Ernesto Frieri]]> 2017-08-08T22:00:30Z 2017-08-08T22:00:30Z The Rangers announced that they’ve traded right-hander Ernesto Frieri to the Mariners in exchange for cash. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times first reported the swap and adds that Frieri will help to round out a depleted bullpen in Triple-A Tacoma for the time being (Twitter links). He’s not on the 40-man roster, so no corresponding move is necessary.

    Frieri, 32, returned to the Majors in 2017 after sitting out the 2016 campaign entirely (outside of a stint in the Dominican Winter League). The former Angels closer drummed up some interest by pitching for his native Colombia in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. That showing helped Frieri to latch on with the Yankees on a minors pact, and he later signed with the Rangers after opting out of that pact with New York. He pitched seven innings out of the Texas ’pen, allowing four runs on six hits and six walks with five strikeouts.

    While those numbers aren’t pretty, Frieri has a strong 2.63 ERA with 11.2 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9 in 27 1/3 Triple-A frames this year — including 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball with an 8-to-3 K/BB ratio since last being sent to Triple-A by Texas. He’s mostly a depth option for now, it seems, but Frieri does have a solid overall track record in the Majors, even in spite of his lack of recent results.

    In 303 1/3 big league innings, he owns a 3.59 ERA with 11.5 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9. Frieri is an extreme fly-ball pitcher (career 26.4 percent ground-ball rate), though if he reaches the Majors, concerns surrounding that trait could be somewhat mitigated by the spacious dimensions of Seattle’s Safeco Field and an excellent Mariners outfield defense.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Mariners Place David Phelps On DL; Felix Hernandez Diagnosed With Bursitis]]> 2017-08-08T18:21:00Z 2017-08-08T18:04:38Z The Mariners have placed righty David Phelps on the 10-day DL, per a club announcement. He’s dealing with what the team is calling an elbow impingement and is expected to be sidelined for two or three weeks. Meanwhile, the club further announced that starter Felix Hernandez has been diagnosed with shoulder bursitis that will keep him out for three to four weeks.

    With the DL placement of Phelps, Seattle has cleared way for the activation of just-acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso. He’ll suit up against his former team, the Athletics, in tonight’s action.

    Of course, the M’s had only just acquired Phelps, too. It certainly hurts to see the organization’s top deadline acquisition head out of action so soon after he had joined the team. That said, it seems promising that he was not deemed to have a more serious elbow issue. Since coming to Seattle, Phelps has made seven appearances, allowing two earned runs over six innings while racking up 11 strikeouts and just one walk.

    Hernandez had already gone on the DL a few days ago, with the team stating at the time that he was dealing with biceps tendinitis. With the new diagnosis — a repeat of an injury that drove King Felix to the DL for about two months earlier this year — it seems a lengthier absence is to be expected. That comes at an inopportune moment, as Hernandez had picked up his output over July, working to a 3.86 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 14 walks in 35 innings.

    As Seattle welcomes Alonso to the fold, it sits just one game out of Wild Card position. But the club’s pitching health and depth have continued to be a problem. Hernandez returns to a disabled list that already includes Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly. Just-added southpaw Marco Gonzales took a spot start for Hernandez, but he was knocked around. Other 40-man members who have taken starts in the majors this yearinclude Andrew Moore, Sam Gaviglio, and Chase De Jong.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Notes: Alonso, Phelps]]> 2017-08-06T21:43:34Z 2017-08-06T21:42:51Z Seattle acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from Oakland in a waiver trade on Sunday. It turns out the Mariners had been pursuing Alonso since before the non-waiver deadline on July 31, general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters, including Greg Johns of Dipoto “couldn’t quite push it over the goal line,” though. The executive went on to suggest that Alonso, an impending free agent, could be more than a rental for the Mariners. “In this case, it’s a guy who fits us not just now, but potentially moving forward. What better way to get to know a player than have him join you?”

    • While the Mariners bolstered their lineup Sunday in picking up Alonso, their bullpen may have taken a sizable step backward. Reliever David Phelps, whom the M’s acquired in July from the Marlins, left the first game of Seattle’s doubleheader against the Royals on Sunday with right elbow discomfort. That’s “never a good thing,” notes the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish, who relays that Phelps’ fastball velocity was noticeably down during his shortened, seven-pitch frame. The Mariners are now left to hope for positive news regarding Phelps, who has been lights-out since joining his new club. Phelps has pitched seven innings of six-hit, two-run ball and posted an 11:1 K:BB ratio as a Mariner.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[10 Veterans Clear Revocable Waivers]]> 2017-08-07T12:39:11Z 2017-08-06T19:41:40Z A slew of household names cleared revocable waivers recently, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag in a pair of articles. The list consists of Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Tigers left fielder Justin Upton, Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and four Mets – outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, second baseman Neil Walker and reliever AJ Ramos. All of these players are now eligible for August trades.

    It’s obvious that Harper, one of the game’s preeminent superstars, isn’t going anywhere. As Heyman notes, no team bothered to claim Harper because they realized putting the 24-year-old through waivers was merely a procedural maneuver by first-place Washington.

    Votto, 33, won’t be on the move, either, as he’s a Cincinnati institution who has a full no-trade clause and a guaranteed $171MM coming his way through 2024.

    Hernandez also enjoys full no-trade rights, though he hasn’t aged nearly as well as Votto. The former ace’s performance has declined drastically over the past couple years, making his contract a burden to the Mariners. The 31-year-old is on a $26MM salary this season and next, and he’s due another $27MM in 2019. Further hampering his trade value, King Felix is on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis.

    Davis, meanwhile, has a partial no-trade clause, and it’s difficult to imagine any team showing interest in the once-elite offensive force. The 31-year-old is amid his second straight mediocre season since re-signing in Baltimore on a seven-year, $161MM contract.

    Upton, 29, is having an outstanding season, but he comes with a pricey salary ($22.13MM through 2021), and both his 20-team no-trade rights and opt-out clause complicate matters. Upton could vacate the remaining four years and $88MM-plus left on his deal after this season, but there’s a strong likelihood he’ll ride out the remainder of the contract, Heyman suggests. Regardless, there hasn’t been any real trade interest in Upton to this point, according to Heyman.

    With his $8MM salary this season, Crawford is eminently affordable now, but he’s due $60MM from 2018-21 and is having a dreadful year offensively. While Crawford remains a great defender, teams might be leery of taking on a highly paid 30-year-old (31 in January) whose offensive production has suddenly cratered. He’s another member of the full no-trade clause club, too, further decreasing the chances of a deal.

    As for the Mets, we now know of six of their veterans who have passed through waivers, with outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson having done so earlier this week. The best of the bunch is Cespedes, whom the Mets re-signed to a four-year, $110MM contract in the offseason. Even if the Mets wanted to deal Cespedes, the 31-year-old has a full NTC that would enable him to block any move.

    Walker has also dealt with hamstring issues – a partial tear that sidelined the 31-year-old from mid-June until last week. The soon-to-be free agent has gone just 3 of 26 at the plate since his return, but he still comes with a quality track record and is on pace for another decent offensive season (.254/.332/.431 in 281 plate appearances). It’s unclear, though, whether there will be any teams clamoring for the switch-hitting Walker, who’s has roughly $6MM of his $17.2MM salary remaining through season’s end, given a lack of demand for second basemen.

    Cabrera, 31, drew pre-trade deadline interest from the Red Sox and Indians, but they’ve patched up their infield situations since then. Moreover, the Mets are reportedly giving strong consideration to going forward with Cabrera next year, when he’s owed either a reasonable salary ($8.5MM) or a $2MM buyout.

    Ramos just joined the Mets last week in a trade with the National League East rival Marlins. Several teams were interested in acquiring the 32-year-old leading up to July 31, though some of those clubs went on to make other deals for relievers after he went to the Mets. Plus, the Mets may favor keeping Ramos in hopes of contending in 2018. He’s owed around $2MM through the end of this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[White Sox Claim D.J. Peterson]]> 2017-08-06T19:08:32Z 2017-08-06T18:56:29Z The White Sox have claimed infielder D.J. Peterson off waivers from the Mariners, according to an announcement from Seattle. The Mariners designated Peterson for assignment on July 30.

    The 25-year-old Peterson had been with the Mariners since they used the 12th overall pick on him in the 2013 draft. Peterson was a fixture on top 100 prospects lists in the early going, but since holding his own at the Single-A and Double-A levels from 2013-14, his bat has cooled. Peterson hasn’t been able to conquer Triple-A pitching, as he batted .260/.316/.418 in 627 plate appearances with the Mariners’ affiliate in Tacoma. He hit just .264/.323/.414 there this year, good for 12 percent worse than the Pacific Coast League average, according to wRC+.

    Peterson has three options remaining, per Roster Resource, and could get a shot in the majors at some point with the rebuilding White Sox. For now, he’ll head to Triple-A Charlotte.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Ryan Garton, Mike Marjama From Rays]]> 2017-08-06T18:04:53Z 2017-08-06T17:39:33Z Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is at it again. Shortly after the team’s Yonder Alonso trade with the Athletics, Dipoto announced that Seattle has acquired right-hander Ryan Garton and catcher Mike Marjama from the Rays for two minor leaguers – left-hander Anthony Misiewicz and infielder Luis Rengifo – and a player to be named later. Garton and Marjama will report to Triple-A Tacoma, tweets Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. To make room for their new additions, the Mariners designated catcher Tuffy Gosewisch for assignment.

    The only player in the trade with major league experience is the 27-year-old Garton, who debuted in the majors in 2016 and has also seen action this season. Garton did passable work in 39 1/3 innings and 37 appearances out of the Rays’ bullpen last season (4.35 ERA, 7.55 K/9, 2.52 BB/9 and a 45.2 percent ground-ball rate), but this year has been a different story. Across 10 1/3 frames prior to the trade, Garton allowed 10 earned runs on 13 hits and five walks, with nine strikeouts. He has dominated Triple-A hitters in 2017, however, with a 1.64 ERA, 12.55 K/9 against 4.36 BB/9 and a 51.5 percent grounder rate in 33 frames.

    Marjama, 28, is joining his third organization since the White Sox used a 23rd-round pick on him in 2011. In his first taste of Triple-A ball this year, he has batted a solid .274/.342/.445 in 292 plate appearances.

    Misiewicz, meanwhile, was an 18th-rounder in 2015. The 22-year-old ascended to the Double-A ranks this season and has notched a 4.35 ERA with 6.97 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 41 1/3 innings (seven starts).

    Unlike Misiewicz, the 20-year-old Rengifo ranked among the Mariners’ top 30 prospects before the trade, according to, which placed him at No. 27. The outlet notes that the 2014 international signing from Venezuela, a switch-hitter, “has a short, compact swing from both sides of the plate,” “above-average speed” and the range and arm strength necessary to make him a quality defensive infielder. Rengino has shown off his speed this year with 29 steals at the Single-A level, to go with a .250/.318/.413 line and 11 home runs in 450 PAs.

    As for the 33-year-old Gosewisch, whom the Mariners claimed off waivers from the Braves in January, he appeared in 11 big league games back in May and limped to an .071/.103/.071 batting line in 31 tries. Gosewisch has generally been unusable with the bat during his career, having slashed .190/.228/.271 in 447 PAs between Arizona and Seattle, though he has thrown out 35 percent of would-be base thieves on the defensive side.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Mariners Acquire Yonder Alonso]]> 2017-08-06T22:42:27Z 2017-08-06T17:07:52Z The Mariners have acquired first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Athletics in exchange for minor league outfielder Boog Powell, per an announcement from Seattle. The M’s claimed Alonso off waivers prior to working out a deal with the American League West rival A’s, reports Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network (on Twitter).

    Yonder Alonso[RELATED: Updated Mariners & A’s Depth Charts]

    The 30-year-old Alonso has enjoyed a breakout season, but as an impending free agent on a rebuilding team, the expectation was that Oakland would move the $4MM slugger this summer. The A’s were unable to find a trade to their liking for Alonso before this past Monday’s non-waiver deadline, however, thanks in part to a lack of leaguewide demand at first base.

    The playoff-contending Mariners have gotten little production from the position this year, though, with their first base options having combined for a woeful batting line (.246/.305/.385) and the majors’ third-worst fWAR (minus-0.8). Despite that shoddy production, Seattle holds a 56-55 record and sits just 1.5 games out of a wild-card position.

    Seattle’s primary first baseman has been Danny Valencia, whose overall output hasn’t been great. However, the right-handed hitter has feasted on southpaw pitchers (.297/.368/.505), which could set up a formidable platoon consisting of him and the lefty-swinging Alonso. Buoyed by a newly adopted fly ball-first approach, Alonso has slashed an excellent .266/.369/.527 with 22 home runs in 371 plate appearances this year. Almost all of that damage has come off righties, against whom Alonso has batted .287/.393/.559 in 254 trips to the plate.

    To land Alonso, the Mariners gave up the 24-year-old Powell, who got his first taste of big league action earlier this season and hit .194/.310/.194 over nine games and 43 PAs. He owns a far better .340/.416/.490 line in 239 Triple-A PAs this year, and has slashed a lifetime .288/.365/.402 at that level. Powell actually entered the professional ranks as the Athletics’ 20th-round pick back in 2012. They ended up sending him, John Jaso and Daniel Robertson to the Rays in a 2015 deal that netted the A’s Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.