SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners stocked up on Tuesday ahead of the trade deadline, hoping their big splash from last week and some small moves prove enough to end the longest playoff drought in baseball.
The Mariners brought in two injured players from the San Francisco Giants in lefthanded Matthew Boyd and catcher Curt Casali and also picked up infielder Jake Lamb of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto made waves last week by taking over Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo to bolster the rotation before picking up a few lesser-known names the Mariners hope will contribute.
Dipoto said Seattle tackled the top three priorities, even though Tuesday’s moves lacked buzz after adding Castillo.
“We went out and identified the players that we thought could really take us to a new level,” said Dipoto. “And we prioritized players who would be here after 2022, one way or the other.”
Seattle was 55-49 in Tuesday’s game with the New York Yankees and had a one game lead over Cleveland for the final AL wildcard.
Part of the math for Dipoto to decide what made sense is what the Mariners expect to get back in the coming weeks. Offensively, Dipoto said the expectation is that Julio Rodriguez and Dylan Moore will be ready to return when their stints on the injured list are finished, and that Mitch Haniger could rejoin the team soon. Haniger has been out with an ankle injury since the end of April and is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma.
Dipoto also said relievers Diego Castillo and Ken Giles should be back soon and strengthening the bullpen.
“We’re looking forward to getting a pretty big, I think, influx of talent back from the IL in addition to the three players we added today, plus Luis Castillo,” said Dipoto.
Boyd signed a $5.2 million one-year contract with San Francisco but will be out all season after undergoing surgery last September for a torn flexor tendon. His recovery was halted in June after a setback, but he resumed throwing last month and is expected to return sometime later in the summer, Dipoto said. He had a 3.89 ERA in 15 starts last year for Detroit prior to the injury.
Seattle plans to use Boyd as a long reliever from the bullpen when he is ready to join the club.
Casali is hitting .231 this season with four home runs and a .696 OPS in 41 games, but is currently on the injured list with a right oblique strain. He started a minor league rehab assignment last week, but Dipoto had no timeline for his return to the majors.
The 33-year-old is known for his defense and game management. Last season, he became the fifth catcher since at least 1900 to backstop on five consecutive shutouts for the Giants. He finished one short of the record set by Ed Phelps in 1903.
Casali is expected to support sophomore catcher Cal Raleigh. The 25-year-old hits .204 with 14 home runs and a .728 OPS.
“Cal plays regularly, and when I say regularly, he plays every day, somehow, whether it’s the full game, or drop in and we want to take some of the burden off him,” Dipoto said.
The 31-year old Lamb has mainly been a named batter for the Dodgers. The lefthanded batter hits .239 with two homeruns and a .770 OPS in 25 games.
Seattle sent minor league righthander Michael Stryffeler and catcher Andy Thomas to San Francisco, and Lamb was added in exchange for money or a named player. The Mariners also named lefthander Tommy Milone and outfielder Jack Larsen for the assignment.
Motre AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports