Mariners Trade Deadline Recap
In light of yesterday’s trades, not so much as a peep was heard out of the Mariners’ front office this afternoon, even with the trade deadline looming. Following yesterday’s 4-1 win over the Blue Jays, the team shed Brandon League and Steve Delabar for some outfield depth and a Double-A reliever.
The first name dropped was that of Eric Thames, a 25-year-old left fielder in the middle of his second major-league season. Thames (pronounced as it appears, not as the ancient British river) debuted last spring for Toronto, where he batted .262/.313/.456 in 95 games and 394 PA.
In 2012, Thames saw 46 games with the Blue Jays before being optioned to Triple-A, where he boosted his wOBA from .281 to .403 and his BABIP from .308 to .383 in just 54 games. Defensively, he has been used exclusively as a left fielder this season, holding a .989 FIP and a single error in 456.1 innings.
On the heels of the Mariners’ second swap during a series (albeit one not quite as dramatic as Ichiro’s departure), news broke that the Dodgers won the Brandon League bidding war. In his place, they sent two low-A prospects: outfielder Leon Landry and RHP Logan Bawcom.
Landry holds a respectable .328/.358/.559 line in 80 appearances with the Dodgers’ high-A affiliate. He split his 2012 season in left and center field, putting up a respective 1.000 FP in 58 chances and .990 FP in 103 chances. Currently, Landry holds a 6-game hitting streak, his most impressive performance a 3-home run explosion against the Padres’ Lake Elsinore Storm.
Logan Bawcom, a 23-year-old Double-A reliever, was the Dodgers’ 17th round draft pick in 2010. Like Landry, Bawcom has one year of minor league service under his belt, and just a handful of appearances for the Chattanooga Lookouts in 2012, where he posted a 2.60 ERA and 2.88 FIP. In his trade round-up, Larry Stone relayed some scouting reports from Keith Law and Baseball America, both of whom pegged Bawcom as promising but far from solid:
"Bawcom, he [Law] says, “might surface as a middle reliever, but his command right now would make him an up-and-down guy. Despite some tail on his fastball, he doesn’t generate enough ground balls to survive without cutting his walk rate.”"
However middling the prospects, it looks like a win-win for both sides, and a relief to have Brandon League off the shoulders of the Mariners. With several corresponding roster moves to make, the team sent Carlos Peguero back to Tacoma, and recalled relievers Stephen Pryor and Carter Capps.
Capps has seen just one game in Tacoma, striking out 3 of 4 batters in 1.1 innings of relief. He capped a 37-game stint in Double-A earlier this season with 19 saves, a 1.29 ERA, and a 1.63 FIP in 49 IP.
The Mariners have not seen Pryor since June 12, when he injured his groin on a play at first base. Since then, he has made 7 appearances for the Rainiers, allowing 6 hits, 4 walks, and no runs in 8 IP.
One last note on the trade deadline: Jack Zduriencik spoke to the media this afternoon, explaining his hesitancy to trade Jason Vargas and Kevin Millwood. Via Greg Johns:
"If there wasn’t a nice match, I wasn’t motivated to do something that would take away from where we are currently,” Zduriencik said. “We’ve played decent baseball lately, we have pieces here for the future, and in order to make a move, it would have to be the right thing to do."
For now, it looks like a smart move on his part. As long as Millwood remains in the rotation, he buys Hector Noesi more time to develop in Triple-A. And even though teams passed on the pair today, there could be a trade in the works by the offseason. These may not be the blockbuster moves we hoped to see, but for the price of never having to watch League play in Seattle again, I think the Mariners did just fine.