Dealing Jerry Dipoto struck his third trade of the week today, as the Mariners acquired right-handed pitcher Nick Rumbelow from the New York Yankees in exchange for left-handed pitcher JP Sears and right-handed pitcher Juan Then. The two sides announced the trade this afternoon.
Rumbelow was added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster last month to prevent him from becoming a minor league free agent. However, as Monday’s Rule V protection deadline nears, the Yankees are attempting to find space on their 40-man roster to protect more prospects from their loaded system.
After returning from Tommy John surgery this season, Rumbelow posted a sparkling 1.12 ERA over 40.1 innings pitched between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with an equally impressive 45/11 K/BB ratio. Rumbelow represents a much needed addition to the Mariners’ relief corps after both Emilio Pagan and Thyago Vieira found themselves traded last week. Based on what the Mariners traded to get Rumbelow, it would be fair to say that Rumbelow sees himself on Seattle’s 25-man roster to start out the season.
Sears was one of my favorite players in the draft this season. An advanced prospect coming out of the Citadel in South Carolina, Sears rose all the way up to full-season ball in 2017, posting a 0.65 ERA over 27.2 innings pitched with an absurd 16.6 K/9 and a 3.9 BB/9 between Class-A Clinton and Low-A Everett. There’s a chance that he could start the 2018 season with High-A Tampa, but he probably won’t touch the majors until 2019 or 2020, at the latest.
Then, who will be 18 years old in February, posted a very strong 2.64 ERA over 13 games started in his first taste of professional ball down in the Dominican Summer League. His 8.2 K/9 and his 2.2 BB/9 are equally indicative of the idea that he could find his name rather high on prospect lists over the next few years.
Based on the return, it looks as though Rumbelow has a bit of an advantage going into 2018, as you don’t just give up two solid prospects for a taxi-squad reliever. This has the potential to be a very good deal for both sides, however it looks better for the Yankees.