Mariners trade for more relief help
July 30, 2018
The Mariners made two more trades today, bolstering their bullpen with two veteran rental pieces.
Trade One, with the Minnesota Twins, nets the M's southpaw Zach Duke in exchange for minor-leaguers Chase De Jong and Ryan Costello. Duke, 35, has a lengthy Major League career under his belt, having pitched six years as a starter for the Pirates before spending the next eight seasons as a journeyman reliever. Seattle is his ninth team.
Duke is two years removed from Tommy John surgery and has compiled a 3.72 ERA over 56 innings since his return. This year with the Twins, his splits are rather pronounced, suggesting that his best use for the M's will be as a lefty-specialist. His career splits are not as extreme, but still heavily weighted toward success against left-handed batters.
The Mariners give up De Jong, a right-handed pitcher who had a brief seven-game stint with Seattle in 2017 (0-3, 6.35 ERA) and had spent the entirety of this season with Double-A Arkansas, and Costello, a 22-year-old corner infielder who's slashed .285/.381/.529 in his brief minor-league career at rookie and Class-A levels.
Trade Two brings right-hander Adam Warren to Seattle from the New York Yankees. In five and a half years with New York and half a season with the Cubs, Warren has pitched predominantly in relief and has been remarkably consistent. Generally used for an inning or two per appearance, he's been equally effective against lefties and righties over his career, though this season has been hit hard by left-handers. In exchange for Warren, the Mariners gave the Yankees $1.25 million in international signing bonus capacity.
Both Duke and Warren will be free agents at the end of the season.
Corresponding roster moves will follow when the two relievers report either tomorrow or Wednesday, with the expected moves involving Chasen Bradford being sent to Tacoma and either Juan Nicasio or Nick Vincent losing his spot on the 25-man roster; either could be moved in another trade sometime before tomorrow afternoon's deadline—GM Jerry Dipoto is rumored to be talking with other clubs about acquiring a center fielder, possibly Miami's Cameron Maybin.
In a surprising minor move, the M's also re-signed situational lefty Marc Rzepczynski to a minor-league contract today. Seattle released Rzepczynski earlier this year after a brutal 18 games in which he posted a 9.39 ERA; the ten-year veteran was then picked up by Cleveland and made five scoreless appearance for them before once again being released.