As expected, the Mariners have involved themselves in the trade deadline sweepstakes, making a couple of deals following Monday's game. Continuing Jack Z's new strategy of working with teams already in town, the Mariners shipped Steve Delabar to Toronto in exchange for left handed outfielder Eric Thames. Seconds later, the Mariners announced that they had also dealt former all-star Brandon League in exchange for two Dodger farmhands, outfielder Leon Landry and pitcher Logan Bawcom.
First, let's talk about Thames. The former Blue Jay arrives in Seattle with a .257/.306/.429 slash line in 141 career games. He has modest power, isn't much of a walker, and (stop me if you've heard this before) strikes out a lot. He's hit much better against righties (105 wRC+) than lefties (75 wRC+) in his brief career, suggesting that he might be a platoon guy in the long run. Thames is only twenty-five and has five more years before he's eligible for free agency, so there's a chance the M's pick up some value as he enters his prime. Initially, Thames will start, probably in left field, until Franklin Gutierrez returns. Long term, the lack of viable alternatives in the organization ensures that Thames will at least be a fourth outfielder with the potential for a bigger role if his bat develops.
Landry is an athletic center fielder currently in high single A. His numbers (.328/.358/.559) are undoubtedly inflated by the California League, but he makes a lot of contact and can run well (he has fifteen triples and twenty steals this year,) two skills that will serve him well at any level. He also has better plate discipline than a player with a 3.7 walk rate would suggest. While it's hard to project him as more than a 4th outfielder, his speed and defensive abilities should allow him to advance through the system even if his bat stalls.
Also, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus coincidentally profiled Landry on the morning of the trade. I would encourage you to check out his write-up, as he also featured first round pick Mike Zunino.
The other piece in the League deal, Bawcom, is a reliever currently in double A. Bawcom sits in the low nineties and complements his fastball with a slider and a change up. After thriving in the California League, Bawcom was promoted to double A earlier this season. To date, he's posted an ERA under three, a strike out rate over nine, and mostly respectable peripheral numbers across the board. Bawcom has always walked his fair share of hitters, but if he harnesses his control, he should compete for big league innings fairly soon.
The Mariners have not yet announced how they plan to fill out the bullpen following the departures of Delabar and League. Stephen Pryor is healthy so he will almost certainly be rejoining the team. As for the last spot, I'm hoping it goes to Carter Capps. The big righty posted a minuscule 1.63 FIP as Jackson's closer before getting promoted to Tacoma over the weekend. He has a classic closer repetoire, featuring a 100 MPH fastball and a biting power slider. He isn't yet on the 40 man roster, but the trades tonight give the Mariners an available spot. Call him up!