It was a bad day for the Mariners on the field. But off the field, GM Jerry Dipoto was busy making a number of moves to Seattle’s 40-man roster.
The most noteworthy Mariners move of the day was, surprise, another Jerry Dipoto trade. This time Dipoto acquired hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Austin Adams from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor league pitcher Nick Wells.
The move was hardly surprising, as Dipoto constantly been trying to add to his bullpen all season long. In the first 6 weeks of the year, he has already added Connor Sadzeck and Mike Wright, making Adams the third reliever with MLB experience acquired by Dipoto this year.
Adams will start his Mariners journey in AAA Tacoma. Adams has just 9 innings of work at the big league level so his numbers won’t tell us much. But a look at his numbers in the minors shows why a team like Seattle might have a particular interest in Adams.
In his 8 years in minor league ball, Adams has accumulated a 3.40 ERA, a 1.33 GO/AO rate, and 470 strikeouts in 333.2 innings. These are incredibly impressive numbers. Along the way, opponents are hitting just .198 against him in his career.
The book on Adams is a double plus slider and an upper-90s fastball. So why is this guy available? He has no command. His walk numbers were extremely high in his career but did show significant improvement in 2018 and thus far in 2019, he is down to a solid 2.70 BB/9.
With that profile, it shouldn’t surprise us that Adams has a talent for missing bats. It also shouldn’t surprise us that his lack of command became too much to bare for Washington. Seattle has already had some luck with Connor Sadzeck and will hope to do the same for Austin.
To acquire Austin, the Mariners sent Nick Wells to the Nationals. Wells has a nice curveball and a good fastball but never developed much command. He has shown flashes throughout his career and the Nationals still have time to develop the 23-year-old Virginia native.
The Mariners also lost Joey Curletta on waivers to the Red Sox in an attempt to free a 40-man roster spot. Curletta destroyed the southern league in 2018 but was off to a bad start in Tacoma and didn’t have a long-term home in Seattle. The 40-man roster is now at 39.