Shawn Kelley Traded to Yankees for OF Abe Almonte

marc w · February 13, 2013 at 5:02 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s sent right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley to New York in exchange for switch-hitting outfielder Abraham Almonte. The M’s DFA’d Kelley recently to add Kelly Shoppach, so the clock was ticking to get a deal done; if they hadn’t traded him by the end of the week, the M’s would have lost Kelley on waivers.

Abe Almonte will turn 24 this season and is a speedy OF who can switch hit. He was never a top prospect with the Yanks, in part because it’s taken him several years to rise to AA (he played in the Eastern League in 2012), because he missed nearly all of 2012 with a labrum problem, and in part because he has very little power. He doesn’t show much in the way of platoon splits, and posted a very good walk rate last year with Trenton. He’s seen by some as a very good defensive CF, especially given that he was originally signed as a 2B, but injuries and good-but-not-great production have kept him far away from top prospect lists. He’s been eligible in the Rule 5 draft for two years (I think) and hasn’t been picked, so this isn’t a steal or anything, but when you’re trying to trade a player you just DFA’d, you set your sights a bit lower.

Many (including me) had hoped the M’s may have tried to package Mike Carp and Kelley to get a slightly – *slightly* – better return, but it wasn’t to be. Still, I sincerely hope Abe Almonte’s healthy, that he’s able to build on a sneaky good year with Trenton (30 steals to 5 CS!), and that he becomes an effective lead-off man for Tacoma.


29 Responses to “Shawn Kelley Traded to Yankees for OF Abe Almonte”

  1. nickwest1976 on February 13th, 2013 5:05 pm

    Plus it saves the M’s almost a million bucks since Kelly was set to earn $935,000. Not a ton of money but not chump change either.

  2. vertigoman on February 13th, 2013 5:27 pm

    NW- more like 500k
    Whoever fills his spot will make ML minimum at least

    Being short and having the initials of someone with a problem means this guy has something to prove and hopefully knows how to take a joke. Both good assets to have as a new member to the Mariner organization.

  3. nickwest1976 on February 13th, 2013 5:36 pm

    Good point

  4. BillyJive on February 13th, 2013 5:39 pm

    I’m amazed the Yankees would be willing to trade for any of our pitchers….heh heh

  5. Madison Mariner on February 13th, 2013 6:09 pm

    “NW- more like 500k
    Whoever fills his spot will make ML minimum at least”

    Err, no…the M’s don’t really save money here, since Kelley’s spot on the 40-man roster was given to Kelly Shoppach after the M’s signed him. Hence the DFA’ing of Kelley to make room for Shoppach.

    Shoppach will earn a guaranteed $1.5 million, so the M’s take on about $565,000 in salary-the equivalent of a player making the minimum during their first 1-3 years of service time–by replacing Kelley(Shawn) with Kelly(Shoppach).

    Just an FYI. 🙂

  6. Choo on February 13th, 2013 6:54 pm

    Abe Almonte looks like the offspring of Quinton McCracken and Lloyd McClendon, which makes him about as awesome as you can imagine.

  7. Breadbaker on February 13th, 2013 8:43 pm

    Yankee Fan 1: So we just traded Abe Almonte to the Mariners for a pitcher.

    Yankee Fan 2: Who’d we get? Felix, or Felix plus cash?

  8. vertigoman on February 14th, 2013 12:40 am

    In a literal sense you are correct.
    Kelley was DFA’d to make room for Shoppach.
    But really Shoppach has nothing to do with Kelley’s status.
    It’s Kinney or Loe or Luetge or any bullpen arm that dictated Kelley getting DFA’d.
    There are going to be 6 or 7 bullpen arms on the roster. Likewise there will also be a backup catcher.
    Gotta compare apples to apples

  9. JH on February 14th, 2013 9:43 am

    Wasn’t crazy about shipping Kelley out, but I like this pickup. Almonte doesn’t have the loudest tools but he’s got a very solid approach and still has a chance to develop into a very useful player in the Denard Span mold (with a tick less defensive value). Much more than I thought they’d get for Kelley given the way they valued him.

  10. spuuky on February 14th, 2013 9:49 am

    I’m unreasonably and irrationally pleased with this one. Could someday be a very valuable defensive sub/pinch-runner type, since his ability to get on base means he’s not a totally wasted slot if he has to come up to bat again. Could also just hang out in the minors forever, but hey.

  11. Paul B on February 14th, 2013 11:51 am

    Probably the most likely outcome is that he plays CF for Tacoma, then after this season they don’t put him on the 40 man and he becomes a minor league free agent(?) or is picked up in the minor league portion of the draft by someone.

  12. Westside guy on February 14th, 2013 12:21 pm


    Yankee Fan 3: At a minimum they must’ve given us Felix, cash AND Seager!

  13. BackRub on February 14th, 2013 2:20 pm

    He missed 2010 not 2012 with injury.

  14. Dobbs on February 15th, 2013 11:21 am

    Perhaps it would’ve been better to trade him before they killed his value? Or was he only going to fetch us similar value anyway?

  15. MrZDevotee on February 16th, 2013 3:03 am

    Okay, I like Kelly Shoppach. There’s a video of Carter Capps throwing a bullpen session, with Shoppach catching him.

    When Shoppach hears one of the other catchers joking about something (you can’t quite make it out) he says to him (them) “No… Nope… You don’t get extra credit for doing what you’re supposed to do!”

    Veteran presence, in fine form!

  16. stevemotivateir on February 16th, 2013 5:00 am

    So, the ‘veteran presence’ we keep hearing about, means having no sense of humor? No wonder Wedge didn’t like Jaso! Only had a couple seasons under his belt and had way too much fun.

    Now it’s starting to make sense.

  17. MrZDevotee on February 16th, 2013 10:49 am

    Yep, you nailed it Steve, Shoppach’s message was “baseball is not a fun game to play.” (rolls eyes)

  18. the tourist on February 16th, 2013 11:04 am

    Wow. You guys read that is lacking a sense of humor and baseball as not fun? Shows how the written word can be construed. Apparently tone is everything, because I didn’t read that as being a super serious comment.

    But hey, if you read it as a serious comment, what’s the problem with that? Why should a guy get extra credit for doing something they’re supposed to do, which is not above and beyond? If people are giving out kudos for what players are supposed to do instead of reserving them for the above and beyond, well no wonder the team has been doing poorly.

    “Hey guy, you did just enough! Here’s a pat on the back for not excelling!”

  19. MrZDevotee on February 16th, 2013 11:46 am

    Not me. I was being sarcastic… I didn’t take that message from it at all. In fact the irony is, I found Shoppach’s comment hilarious, and Steve’s lacking humour. *laugh* Hopefully Steve was being funny too, though?

  20. stevemotivateir on February 16th, 2013 12:26 pm

    Funny? No. Ridiculous, yes. I thought it was pretty obvious, but that reaction actually made it more funny/ridiculous/rewarding.

    (if it still isn’t clear, none of what I said was serious in any way)

  21. the tourist on February 16th, 2013 12:30 pm

    Sorry – I’ve read too many Times comments I guess.

  22. stevemotivateir on February 16th, 2013 12:42 pm

    No need to apologize! I thought it all made for even more laughs!

    It wont be as easy to do so once Wedge ignores Wells again and starts with the weird in-game decisions.

  23. MrZDevotee on February 16th, 2013 7:58 pm

    You mean like:

    Wedge: You there, at the end of the bench…
    (pointing at Wells)

    Wells: Me?

    Wedge: Yeah… Tell Ibanez to get ready to go in next inning.

  24. Westside guy on February 16th, 2013 8:14 pm

    ^ hahaha!

  25. MrZDevotee on February 18th, 2013 11:34 am

    Matt Gamel and Cory Hart BOTH out for the season for Milwaukee… Use your connections Z, and cook up a good trade for Carp!!! Brewers basically don’t have a 1B at the moment, and were going with Gamel and his lifetime .229/.305/.367 line, with less than a season to his name.

    Perfect fit for the former Milwaukee employee to get a deal done. And a good fit for Carp, too.

  26. Puffy on February 18th, 2013 12:38 pm

    I could see Carp going to Boston in exchange for one of their extra pitchers. Aceves might have outlasted his welcome in Boston, but is a rubber arm with some use to a team like Seattle. Saltalamacchia is another potential fit here.

  27. MrZDevotee on February 18th, 2013 5:48 pm

    So, Corey Hart is only out the first couple months– probably wouldn’t get enough back from the Brewers for Carp in that scenario.

    But the official M’s site has Z saying he’s in talks with several teams (including the Brewers) interested in Carp and should have something done in the next 24-48 hours.

    So we’ll see.

    Aceves would be interesting but he’d probably be a pain if he didn’t get to be the closer. (More stories of him “not fitting in” this Spring already, and we can’t afford $3 million for a guy who doesn’t play nice.)

  28. Puffy on February 19th, 2013 10:15 am

    Aceves could start too. He wanted to be a starter last year and was basically given closer as a consolation prize when Bailey went down.

  29. stevemotivateir on February 19th, 2013 5:59 pm

    The goal is to open up a roster spot. If there’s a trade, it’s likely going to be for a lower level minor leaguer, unless someone else on the roster gets shipped with him.

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