It’s Trading Season. Guess Who Went First?

It’s always trading season for Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, who made the first deal of the GM Meetings last night, and then followed it up with another trade this morning.

The first deal filled the Mariners hole at first base. Seattle acquired Ryon Healy from the Oakland A’s, giving up former Rainiers reliever Emilio Pagan and infield prospect Alexander Campos.

Healy replaces Danny Valencia and Yonder Alonso in the Mariners lineup. Both of those first baseman are currently free agents – and interestingly, both former Oakland A’s players. The Mariners last three first basemen have all been acquired from Oakland. Current A’s first baseman Matt Olson should start shopping for a condo in Seattle.

Healy is young and has power, hitting .271 with 25 homers this year. He has less than two years of major league time and can’t become a free agent until 2023.

You know about Pagan, who broke into the majors this season and fared quite well as a rookie. He looks like he could have a nice major league career and we wish him the best with the A’s.

Campos is a wild card – he hasn’t even landed on U.S. soil yet. The 17-year-old hit .290 in the Dominican Summer League this year.

This morning, the M’s traded hard-throwing reliever Thyago Vieira to the Chicago White Sox for $500,000 in international slot money, which is kind of confusing but might be quite meaningful.

Teams are only allowed to spend X-amount of money each year on international players who are under the age of 25. The amount is different from team to team, depending on standings and market size, etc. There are tough penalties for spending over the allotment.

Normally this international money is spent on teenage kids from the Dominican and Venezuela, or one of the Cuban players who manages to get out. But there is a big fish in this particular ocean right now: Shohei Ohtani, who is expected to become available next week.

Ohtani’s signing bonus is going to come from this pool of money. According to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, today’s trade increased the Mariners cap that they can pay Ohtani to $1,557,500.

If the Mariners are unable to successfully recruit Ohtani, they can spend the money on talented teenagers from the Dominican and Venezuela – or maybe Brazil, where they once found Thyago Vieira.

Links:

  • The Seattle Times has stories on the two trades: the Ryon Healy deal is right here, and you can read about the Thyago Vieira trade here.
  • The Mariners have added to the major league coaching staff, hiring former pitcher Jim Brower as Assistant Coach. It’s interesting that they hired a pitching coach in this role when it went to a hitting-oriented coach (Scott Brosius) last year.
  • Seattle is going to sign some pitchers who are currently minor league free agents. Fangraphs has notes on the top ten available pitchers. I like No. 2 on the list a lot – he looked really good against the Rainiers.
  • The Pacific Coast League released the entire 2018 schedule, with all game times, in this .pdf file because that is exactly what you need on November 16th. We’ll have some complaints comments about the new schedule in a future blog post.

 

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