The Seattle Mariners pulled off a trade Wednesday afternoon with the Chicago Cubs. Shortly after the trade was announced, Leonys Martin hit a walkoff home run in the bottom of the eleventh to beat the Chicago White Sox and move them a game over .500 (48-47). That was the second time this week the M’s had defeated the White Sox in walkoff fashion. It was quite an exciting hour or so for Mariners’ fans.
Vogelbach is the prized piece for the M’s. He’s a power hitting first baseman/designated hitter who was being blocked in Chicago by Anthony Rizzo. This season he is slashing .318/.425/.548 with 16 home runs and a 55:67 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 305 at-bats with the Iowa Cubs. The 23-year-old and was drafted in the second round by the Cubs in 2011. He will report to Triple-A Tacoma.
Blackburn is a right-handed starter who has started 18 games this season for the Double-A Tennessee Smokies. In those games, he is 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA. He will report to Double-A Jackson.
You may be asking yourself that question after hearing that the Mariners are trying to contend this season, but then they trade away big league talent for prospects.
While Montgomery was a nice left-handed option out of the pen, the M’s do have other options. Wade LeBlanc was just shifted to the bullpen and Charlie Furbush is close to his return to the majors. Both are lefties and can replace the innings Montgomery had been giving them.
Under the previous leadership, the M’s traded several bullpen arms away for pieces that have had little-to-no impact in the organization. For example, last season Mark Lowe was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Nick Wells, Jake Brentz and Rob Rasmussen. Wells is considered the organization’s 21st best prospect and Brentz the 26th according to MLB Pipeline. Rasmussen was DFA’d in December. Fernando Rodney was traded last summer, much to the delight of some Seattle fans, for cash.
Vogelbach could have an impact on this seasons big league club, and it could be soon, according to General Manager Jerry Dipoto.
A chance to get younger with more club control, while still looking to contend this season.
The biggest question now will be, how long does Adam Lind remain on the roster? He is in the last year of his contract and even though he has provided a big spark this week, his current slash line of .230/.261/.439 is well below his career line of .271/.328/.464. If Dipoto is shopping Lind, this week has really helped his stock. On Monday night, he hit a walkoff three-run home run off White Sox closer, David Robertson. On Wednesday afternoon, he tied the game with a home run late in the game.
A big plus for Vogelbach is he controls the zone well as is indicated with his walk-to-strikeout rates and OBP. If the M’s trade Lind, look for Vogelbach to get the call and be the left-handed bat replacing him in the lineup.
If LeBlanc and Furbush can handle the bullpen duties and Vogelbach can produce at the major league level, assuming Lind is traded, this will be a great move for not only this season but for the future in Seattle.