Just a bit over two years in the past, Nov. 7, 2020, to be precise, Kyle Lewis was named the Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year. And the Mariners celebrated a shiny future for each him and the staff.
While the staff finally reached the hoped-for degree of success in 2022, reaching the postseason for the first time in 21 years and are seemingly poised for fulfillment in seasons to come, Lewis was probably not part of it as accidents of the previous leaked into the current, sidelining him for prolonged stretches and sidetracking his profession.
On Friday, Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto, the man who inexperienced lighted the resolution to draft Lewis with eleventh choose in the 2016 draft, mentioned the circumstances that led to buying and selling him to the Arizona Diamondbacks lower than 24 hours earlier in change for catcher /outfielder Cooper Hummel.
“In some methods, it was a troublesome day for us the day we moved Kyle as a result of he is all the time been a Mariner,” Dipoto mentioned through video convention. “He was our very first first-round draft choose when this group acquired collectively. He is an excellent human being who has had some actually tough circumstances to cope with, and adversities over the course of his time with the Mariners. We thought that this was the proper factor to do for each events.”
There was an uncertainty on what his position can be with a staff that’s making an attempt to enhance on final season’s end. Lewis’ struggles together with his thrice operated upon proper knee restricted him to principally a designated-hitter position. That did not match with the Mariners’ roster setup. As Lewis was out of minor league choices and was first-year arbitration eligible, there have been few options and a higher monetary dedication.
“I feel Kyle wanted a contemporary begin, one thing new,” Dipoto mentioned. “So a lot of his time right here, particularly in latest years, has been begin and cease and rehab. We felt prefer it’s a contemporary begin, new voice and a possibility to go play. With the place we’re in our improvement and the place we imagine we’re on the win curve, we wanted some certainty heading into the 12 months, and we did not really feel like we might get that betting on Kyle in this situation.”
Acquiring Hummel, a 27-year-old that made his MLB debut earlier this season and by no means appeared on prospects lists, could not look like sufficient to followers, however given Lewis’ final two seasons and harm historical past, he was by no means going to convey a big return.
Hummel definitely does not seize the eyes of scouts together with his dimension (5 foot 10, 198 kilos) or his instruments. But the Mariners’ analysts cherished him, significantly his skill to management the strike zone at the plate. He had a profession .397 on-base share in six seasons in the minor leagues.
“Cooper does numerous issues we like and our analytics group has been a fan of Cooper’s for fairly a while,” Dipoto mentioned. “He does numerous actually fascinating issues in the batter’s field. We very a lot worth the skill to handle the strike zone, and he does that about in addition to you are able to do it, in the minor leagues for positive. From a self-discipline standpoint, taking your walks, swinging at the proper pitches, translated in the massive leagues. It’s only a matter of giving him sufficient runway to make that convey out the remainder of his ability set, as a result of he is been an excellent offensive participant for quite a few years.”
Hummel made the transition to catching with the Diamondbacks. He caught 18 video games at the MLB degree final season and caught in 92 video games in the minor leagues. He will present depth at Class AAA Tacoma.
The Mariners narrowed their catching depth chart Friday with the deadline to tender club-controlled gamers, opting not to tender contracts to catchers Luis Torrens and Brian O’Keefe together with right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver.
After an impressive second half in 2021, Torrens struggled for a lot of the 2022 season, forcing the Mariners to purchase veteran Curt Casali at the trade deadline as a short lived stopgap.
Torrens was designated for task, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Tacoma. He finally returned to the Mariners for the remaining weeks of the common season and the postseason, contributing some key hits and even pitching in a number of video games.
“The bulk of the season did not go very effectively for LT,” Dipoto mentioned. “From the very begin, he simply had a tough time this 12 months stepping into any kind of groove and by no means actually acquired a ton of traction whereas he was in Tacoma. The final couple of weeks of the common season once we wanted him the most, he confirmed up and he acquired some big hits for us. We love the human that he’s. He matches on our membership. I do know he is a highly regarded teammate, fashionable amongst our teaching employees. But we do imagine Tom Murphy might be again and clearly choosing up Cooper did enable us some depth in that place.”
With Torrens arbitration eligible and out of choices, the Mariners opted to hold Murphy, a veteran chief and higher defensive catcher, as Cal Raleigh’s backup regardless of lacking most of the season due to shoulder surgical procedure.
The Mariners would love to convey Torrens again on a minor league or cut up contract with an invitation to spring coaching. He will definitely store the catcher-starved market.
“We really feel like the proper factor to do is let LT head out,” Dipoto mentioned. “We’ll keep and contact. I’ve already advised him that if he is in coming again to the Mariners on an NRI (nonroster invite) and are available into camp and battle to make a staff, we might have a ton of curiosity in doing that.”
O’Keefe was a late-season call-up and performed in two video games, getting one hit. Weaver was a waiver declare from the Royals in late October. It leaves the Mariners with 37 gamers on the 40-man roster.
The Mariners tendered contract gives to 27 gamers beneath membership management on the 40-man roster:
- Brennan Bernardino, LHP
- Cress Prelander, RHP
- Matt Brash, RHP
- Isaiah Campbell, RHP
- Diego Castillo, RHP
- Matt Festa, RHP
- Logan Gilbert, RHP
- George Kirby, RHP
- Easton McGee, RHP
- Penn Murphy, RHP
- Paul Sewald, RHP
- Justus Sheffield, LHP
- Gabe Speier, LHP
- Juan Then, RHP
- Ty France, INF
- Sam Haggerty, INF/OF
- Dylan Moore, INF/OF
- Abraham Toro, INF
- Jonathan Clase, OF
- Teoscar Hernández, OF
- Jarred Kelenic, OF
- Cade Marlowe, OF
- Alberto Rodríguez, OF
- Taylor Trammell, OF
- Cooper Hummel, C/OF
- Tom Murphy, C
- Cal Raleigh, C
The Mariners have 10 gamers beneath MLB contracts:
- Luis Castillo, RHP, signed via 2027 with a vesting possibility for 2028.
- JP Crawford, INF, signed via 2026.
- Chris Flexen, RHP, signed via 2023.
- Marco Gonzales, LHP, signed via 2024 with membership possibility for 2025.
- Andrés Muñoz, RHP, signed via 2025 with choices via 2028.
- Robbie Ray, LHP, signed via 2026.
- Julio Rodríguez, OF, signed via 2029 with choices via 2039.
- Eugenio Suárez, INF, signed via 2024 with membership possibility for 2025.
- Evan White, INF, signed via 2025 with choices via 2028.
- Jesse Winker, signed via 2023.