It doesn’t feel like the offseason until a notable trade or free agent signing crosses the wire.
Leave it to Jerry Dipoto to get the party started.
The always active Seattle Mariners general manager completed a trade with the division rival Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, acquiring infielder/designated hitter Ryon Healy.
The Mariners announced they’ll be sending right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagan and minor-league infielder Alexander Campos back to Oakland.
#Mariners acquire INF Ryon Healy from Oakland in exchange for RHP Emilio Pagan and minor league INF Alexander Campos.
— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) November 16, 2017
Healy, who turns 26 in January, figures to shoot directly to the top of Seattle’s depth chart at first base. He possesses good pop, having homered 38 times in 221 MLB games. Seattle didn’t get much from its first basemen last season before acquiring Yonder Alonso, also in a trade with Oakland. Alonso is now headed for free agency, though it’s possible the team will look to bring him back.
Seattle was also believed to be in the market for free agent first baseman Carlos Santana. That might not change as Dipoto was quick to point out the versatility Healy brings to the table.
“Ryon brings a power bat to our line-up at first base, while providing the flexibility to play third base,” Dipoto said in a statement following the trade. “He adds to a growing core of productive young players who impact our present and future.”
Given his age, ability and price tag, the trade doesn’t appear to make much sense for Oakland. A deeper look though shows a logjam that was forming with the emergence of fellow corner infielders Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in 2017. Both players showed power similar to Healy’s and are controllable for a longer time. Figuring Healy’s trade value wouldn’t get much higher, the A’s pulled the trigger.
Now the A’s have some flexibility with their lineup. Reports suggest they’d like to move Khris Davis to designated hitter. They’re reportedly in the market for a more athletic outfielder to fill out that group. The addition of Pagan to their bullpen is pretty interesting too. The 26-year-old posted a 3.22 ERA during his rookie season in 2017 and could have upside as a late-inning reliever.
It’s certainly not what you’d consider a blockbuster trade. With that said, any trade between division rivals is pretty interesting. And this one in particular better positions both teams to execute their offseason plans.
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