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Dipoto makes first trade of the season

It's not even April yet and the always-restless general manager of the Mariners, Jerry Dipoto, has made another trade. This one is small and eminently reasonable: Dipoto has dealt 20-year-old prospect Jesús Ozoria to San Francisco for catcher Tom Murphy.

The Mariners began the season with defensively-challenged Omar Narváez as the primary catcher and warm body David Freitas as the backup, so a low-risk pickup for a second-string receiver is a sensible move. Whether Murphy is actually an upgrade over Freitas is yet to be determined, but this one goes into the "why not? Can't hurt" bucket.

Murphy was waived by Colorado during the spring and picked up by the Giants, only to be designated for assignment when San Francisco had to set their opening day roster before yesterday's games. Murhpy spent the bulk of last season with Triple-A Albuquerque, though did collect enough big-league time with the Rockies to exhaust his rookie status. He only hit .226 in 37 games with Colorado, and not that much better in Albuquerque, but did have a solid Triple-A season in 2016, when he batted .327/.361/.647 in 80 games. Defensively he rates within the average range for Major League catchers.

Ozoria, a right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic, has 20 games of pro experience in the Dominican Summer League, where he's gone 5-5 with a 3.31 ERA.

Freitas was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma to clear a spot for Murphy.

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