M’s Acquire Some Hitters For Tacoma

Hopefully you all had a good holiday weekend. Let’s get caught up on a couple of Mariners signings that could help the Tacoma Rainiers in 2020.

Right before Thanksgiving the Mariners announced they have signed corner infielder Patrick Wisdom, a deal that I rather blatantly hinted about in the last blog post.

Wisdom has been a regular in the Pacific Coast League’s American Conference for the last four years, playing three seasons for Memphis before spending the 2019 season with Nashville. He has logged some big league time the last two years, with Texas (2019) and St. Louis (2018).

In the PCL Wisdom has been a reliable power hitter, ripping 31 home runs in both 2017 with Memphis and 2019 with Nashville. In four Triple-A seasons he has slugged .478 while playing in the side of the league that does not have the high-elevation ballparks.

Defensively, Wisdom had been an infielder his entire professional career until 2019, when he started to mix in some corner outfield play. However, nearly 90% of his Triple-A starts have come at third base.

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Wisdom out of St. Mary’s University with a supplemental first round pick in 2013, the same year they selected Marco Gonzales earlier in the draft. Wisdom moved to the Seattle area after turning pro, where he and Gonzales have worked out together in the offseason. Now they have another chance to be teammates in the big leagues.

Seattle signed Wisdom to a major league contract and added him to the 40-man roster, but he does still have an option year remaining and could spend considerable time in Tacoma this year. The Rainiers had a severe power shortage in 2019, and Wisdom could really help with that.

Another successful Triple-A hitter should be coming our way, as the M’s have signed outfielder/first baseman Jose Marmolejos to a minor league contract.

Marmolejos had a strong season for Fresno last year, batting .315 with 16 homers in 101 games for the Grizzlies. A left-handed line drive hitter, Marmolejos makes decent contact by current standards, and he posted a career-best .911 OPS in his first season of Triple-A ball. Of course the MLB Superballs we were using last year helped his power numbers, but hey, that’s the ball they use in the big leagues.

Undrafted out of high school in Florida, but wanting to turn pro, Marmolejos went to the Dominican Republic (he is of Dominican descent) and participated in amateur showcases until he was signed by the Washington Nationals. He gradually rose through the Nats system, reaching Triple-A in 2019, before becoming a free agent last month.

On the major league side, the Mariners have signed starting pitcher Kendall Graveman and reliever Carl “C.J.” Edwards Jr. You may have read about that already, but if not we’ve got the links down below.

Now that December is here we should start to get more news on big major league free agents inking deals. The Winter Meetings begin this coming Sunday – they are in San Diego this year – and the rumor mill will start to churn.

Links:

  • Here’s the story on the Mariners signing Kendall Graveman. Fangraphs has a logical analysis of the signing.
  • And the story on inking reliever C.J. Edwards, along with the Fangraphs article.
  • Some background on the Patrick Wisdom signing.
  • Former hard-throwing Tacoma relievers Thyago Vieira and Tayler Scott have both signed contracts to pitch in Japan in 2020.
  • Ex-Rainiers infielder Patrick Kivlehan signed a minor league deal with Toronto.

 

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