SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners supplemented on Tuesday ahead of the trade deadline, hoping their big splash of last week and some minor moves prove to be enough to end the longest playoff drought in baseball.
The Mariners acquired two injured players from the San Francisco Giants in left-hander Matthew Boyd and catcher Curt Casali and also picked up infielder Jake Lamb from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto made a splash last week by acquiring Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo to bolster the rotation before picking up a few, lesser-known names the Mariners hope will contribute down the stretch.
Dipoto said Seattle addressed its three top priorities, even if the moves of Tuesday lacked the buzz after adding Castillo.
“We went out and we identified the players that we thought could really push us to a new level,” Dipoto said. “And we prioritized players who were who were going to be here beyond just 2022, in whatever way we could.”
Seattle was 55-49 entering Tuesday’s game at the New York Yankees and had a one-game edge over Cleveland for the last AL wild card.
Part of the math for Dipoto in deciding what made sense is what the Mariners expect to get back in the next couple of weeks. Offensively, Dipoto said the expectation is Julio Rodriguez and Dylan Moore will be ready to return when their stints on the injured list are finished, and that Mitch Haniger could be rejoining the team soon. Haniger has been out since late April with an ankle injury and is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma.
Dipoto also said relievers Diego Castillo and Ken Giles should be back soon and bolster the bullpen.
“We do look forward to getting a pretty big, I guess, influx of talent back from the IL in addition to the the three players we added today, plus Luis Castillo,” Dipoto said.
Boyd signed a $5.2 million, one-year deal with San Francisco but has been out the entire season following surgery last September for a torn flexor tendon. His recovery was shut down in June after a setback, but he resumed throwing last month and is expected to return sometime later in the summer, Dipoto said. He had a 3.89 ERA in 15 starts last year for Detroit prior to the injury.
Seattle intends to use Boyd as a long reliever out of the bullpen when he’s ready to join the club.
Casali is hitting .231 with four homers and a .696 OPS in 41 games this season but is currently on the injured list with a right oblique strain. He began a minor league rehab assignment last week, but Dipoto did not have a timeline for his return to the majors.
The 33-year-old is well regarded for his defense and game management. Last season, he became the fifth catcher since at least 1900 to backstop five consecutive shutouts for the Giants. He ended up one short of the record, set by Ed Phelps in 1903.
Casali is expected to back up second-year catcher Cal Raleigh. The 25-year-old is hitting .204 with 14 home runs and a .728 OPS.
“Cal’s playing regularly, and when I say regularly, he plays every day, in some way shape or form whether it’s the full game, or subbing in late and we do want to take some of the load off of him,” Dipoto said.
The 31-year-old Lamb has primarily been a designated hitter for the Dodgers. The left-handed hitter is batting .239 with two home runs and a .770 OPS in 25 games.
Seattle sent minor league right-hander Michael Stryffeler and catcher Andy Thomas to San Francisco, and Lamb was added in exchange for cash or a player to be named. The Mariners also designated left-hander Tommy Milone and outfielder Jack Larsen for assignment.
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