M’s Make Two Trades
The Mariners have made the two obvious trades that we knew they were going to make before the deadline – they shipped out Brandon League (to LAD for two prospects) and acquired that young-ish left-handed hitting semi-interesting outfielder that we talked about earlier in Eric Thames (from Toronto for Steve Delabar).
Quick reaction on the Delabar/Thames move – it’s worth a try, but don’t get your hopes up. Thames is 25-years-old and has flashed some decent power at times, but he’s got some contact issues, doesn’t have a very good approach at the plate, and is not a good defender. He’s also had some problems against left-handers, so his upside is probably as a platoon outfielder, but he’s a kinda interesting bat against right-handers. He’s not a guy that is likely to turn into a regular on a good team, but he’s vastly better than Peguero/Robinson, and the M’s have a couple hundred at-bats to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle with him.
He’s probably a bench player long term, but the Mariners gave up a middle relief prospect to get him, so it’s not a trade they’re likely to regret. Delabar could find his slider and turn into a solid reliever, but the M’s have a lot of solid relief prospects, and they had a major shortage in the outfield. Most likely, this deal ends up as a footnote in history, but it’s a deal that allows the M’s to trade from a surplus to help fill a hole. Worth doing if just to not have to watch Peguero and Robinson play anymore.
Of course, that’s the minor deal of the two. Brandon League was considered the M’s best trade chip going into the season, and while his stock has dropped, they were still able to get a couple of prospects for him – outfielder Leon Landry and pitcher Logan Bawcom.
Landry’s a small, speedy outfielder with good contact skills who has gotten the Cal League Power Boost that fools people into thinking players are better hitting prospects than they really are, so ignore his raw stats from this year. He never walks and the power is questionable, so he’s gonna have to stick as a CF. The arm is fringy but the range is good enough to play there, so if he hits, he might turn into an okay center fielder in a few years. Probably more of a future fourth OF if he makes it.
Bawcom is a future bullpen arm, and potentially a good one. 90-95 on the fastball with a good slider, already in Double-A and missing a lot of bats. Could be in Seattle as early as next year. Probably more of a right-on-right reliever than a future closer, but if the command improves, could be more than that.
It might seem like an underwhelming return, but Brandon League is an underwhelming trade chip. You just weren’t going to get that much for a couple of months of a guy who can’t get lefties out. The Brandon League trade was one of Jack’s worst, and they got about what you’d expect to get for a middle reliever with some issues who is due for free agency at the end of the year. It’s just too bad that they overpaid so badly to get him in the first place.
Trading Delabar and League creates two open spots in the bullpen, and you’ll likely see Stephen Pryor rejoin the team to fill one of the two spots. You could potentially see also-throws-100-guy Carter Capps as the other, as he struck out three of the four batters he faced in his Triple-A debut tonight, and was absolutely destroying Double-A Jackson before his promotion. Pryor and Capps are two best bullpen arms in the organization, and both profile as potential future closers. Getting a look at them for two months could be a nice way to see how close they are to helping setup Tom Wilhelmsen next year.
Oh, and Thames will take Carlos Peguero‘s spot on the roster. He was seen shaking hands with his teammates after the game – at least, when he was able to make contact with their hands.