As the Rule 5 draft approaches, the Seattle Mariners swapped minor league players with the St. Louis Cardinals. In the trade, the Mariners send infielder Ty Kelly to the St. Louis Cardinals for RHP Sam Gaviglio.
From the St. Louis Cardinals’ twitter account:
Ty Kelly is 26 years old, and Sam Gaviglio is 24 years old. Both have played exclusively in the minors, and Ty Kelly has already been added to the Cardinals’ 40-man roster.
During his two years with the Mariners organization, Ty Kelly was a middle infielder who decided to stop swinging the bat in 2014. I attended a game down at Triple-A Tacoma in 2013, and witnessed Ty Kelly commit two errors in one single inning. But he was fun to watch with a bat, and still has potential even at 26 years old.
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In 2013 AA: .283/.389/.382 with a 14.9% walk rate and 14.3% K rate.
In 2013 AAA: .320/.456/.406 with a 20.2% walk rate and 16.3% K rate.
In 2014, all in AAA: .263/.381/.412 with a 15.5% walk rate and 17.5% K rate.
Ty Kelly wasn’t going to make the 25-man roster in 2015. Neither is Sam Gaviglio, though. A right-hander drafted in the 5th round of the MLB First Year Player Draft in 2011, Gaviglio has yet to move beyond Double-A ball.
In 136.2 innings in 2014, Gaviglio had a 4.28 ERA, but his 3.24 FIP and BABIP of .352 are indicative of a fluky ERA year. He’s a ground ball pitcher by nature, and his pitches sit in the upper 80s so he isn’t going to blow by anyone with his fastball.
Though this move won’t have any major impact on the 2015 Major League season, the Mariners took the opportunity to swap an infielder– a position where they have a lot of young depth– for a pitcher– a position they can always stand to shore up a bit more.
Hopefully this isn’t the only move the Mariners make this month, or this offseason for that matter, but it’s a start in the right direction of getting the depth the Mariners organization needs.