We’ve got a few things to cover today: the recent trades and a flashback.
On Friday, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto made two major league trades involving veteran players. He sent outfielder Seth Smith to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo, and then he traded pitcher Nathan Karns to the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Jarrod Dyson.
Add them together, and they replaced Karns with Gallardo, and Smith with Dyson.
Gallardo has been a pretty good starting pitcher for a long time, but his 2016 season was a nightmare. If he bounces back to his career norm, the M’s will probably be pleased with this trade.
Dyson and Smith are both left-hand hitting outfielders, and the similarity ends right about there. Dyson is a speed player, he can be electrifying on the bases, and he plays good defense. Dyson is two years younger than Smith. But he does not possess the plate discipline and power of Seth Smith.
Dipoto cited outfield defense as a key reason for the trade. The team should have some terrific glovework, with Dyson, Leonys Martin, Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel, and Guillermo Heredia each capable of playing center field.
There is some serious analysis of the trade from USS Mariner in the links below.
It’s been a while since we had a Triple-A All-Star Flashback, so let’s do one!
Tacoma is hosting the 30th annual Triple-A All-Star Game at Cheney Stadium on July 12. We’ll spend the winter looking back at the previous years, to give fans an idea what they can expect in Tacoma this summer.
Today, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is the home of the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate. But in 1995, when Scranton hosted the Triple-A All-Star Game, the Red Barons were the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate.
That didn’t stop them from hosting one of the most famous New York Yankees of all time.
Derek Jeter was the starting shortstop for the American League in the 1995 Triple-A All-Star Game, representing the Columbus Clippers. He went 2-for-3 at the plate, including a double, and scored a run before being replaced by New Orleans shortstop Mark Loretta.
Jeter had recently made his major league debut for the Yankees, but was sent back to Triple-A and made the all-star team. The 21-year-old hit .317 with two homers in 486 at-bats for Columbus in 1995. He took over as the Yankees starting shortstop in 1996 and won the Rookie of the Year award.
Despite his strong performance in the all-star game, Derek Jeter was not the MVP. Buffalo first baseman Luis Lopez had three hits, including a double and a homer, and drove in four runs to take home the trophy.
Seven American League pitchers combined to toss a two-hit shutout as the AL won the game, 9-0.
1995 All-Star Fun Facts:
- Fans of a certain age will remember the hype surrounding the New York Mets “Generation K” pitching prospects: Bill Pulsipher, Paul Wilson and Jason Isringhausen. Isringhausen was the starting pitcher for the NL, representing Norfolk, and get this: a top prospect at the time, Isringhausen was notified that he would be making his MLB debut after the all-star break – and the Mets let him start the Triple-A All-Star Game anyway. That would never happen today! Isringhausen had the best career of the trio, collecting exactly 300 major league saves.
- The starting pitcher for the AL was Toledo’s Pat Ahearn, who would later pitch (quite well) for the Tacoma Rainiers in 2000.
- Managers were Grady Little of Richmond and Chris Bando of New Orleans. Little became manager of the Boston Red Sox, and, well… you know what happened.
- The 1995 season marked the first year of our Mariners affiliation and our new name, the Tacoma Rainiers. The first Rainiers all-star was relief pitcher Jeff Darwin. He worked a scoreless inning.
- Albuquerque’s Ron Coomer topped a field of five to win the Home Run Derby. Slugger Brooks Kieschnick was a runner-up.
- Player who had long careers in the majors included Derek Jeter, Mark Loretta, Jeromy Burnitz, Ron Coomer, John Marzano, Eric Owens, Eddie Perez, and Mark Sweeney.
- Two current PCL broadcasters worked the game: Iowa’s Deene Ehlis and Phoenix’s Russ Langer (now with Las Vegas).
- The television broadcast aired on ESPN2, with current MLB Network host Matt Vasgersian on the call.
Our Usual Links:
- The two trades add up to a four-player deal, Bob Dutton writes.
- Stories from the Times, first on the Gallardo deal and a second on the Dyson trade.
- USS Mariner looks at each trade: the Gallardo deal, and the Dyson acquisition.
- Dave Cameron writes that the Mariners are trying to copy the Royals strategy of focusing on speed and defense.
- What if the Mariners are unable to add another starting pitcher? Bob Dutton looks at the six in-house candidates to be the M’s fifth starter.
- Jos Posnanski wrote beautifully – as he always does – about Edgar Martinez and the Hall of Fame.
- Congratulations, I guess: the Mariners rank No. 2 on the list of Most Tortured Fan Bases.
- According to a broadcast industry report, former Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik will be doing the Pittsburgh Pirates pregame and postgame shows this season.
- This is a broadcaster’s nightmare: over in the International League, Charlotte could have a battery of pitcher Giovanni Soto and catcher Geovany Soto. Thoughts and prayers for broadcaster Matt Swierad.
- Blake Snell – the Seattle native who broke into the Tampa Bay Rays starting rotation last year – is coaching his high school’s basketball team during the offseason.
- Former major league pitcher and longtime pitching coach Jackie Brown passed away. He is the uncle of former Rainiers manager Daren Brown.
Check back Thursday for a 2017 Rainiers pre-spring training position preview.