Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus set to claim Mets’ second base job

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By releasing Luis Castillo last week and optioning Justin Turner to Triple-A this morning the Mets have cleared the way for Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus to be their Opening Day starter at second base.

Luis Hernandez and Daniel Murphy now stand as his only competition, but Hernandez is no one’s idea of an everyday player and Murphy is expected to be used off the bench, with Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com both reporting that Emaus is a near-lock for the job.

Or as Turner put it after being told he was headed to Triple-A: “I’m sure Brad is feeling pretty good about himself right now.”

Selected from the Blue Jays with the 11th pick in the Rule 5 draft back in December, the 25-year-old Emaus hit .290 with a .397 on-base percentage and .476 slugging percentage in 125 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, drawing more walks (81) than strikeouts (69), swiping 13 bases, and homering 15 times.

Mariners acquire Nick Rumbelow from Yankees

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The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.

The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.

Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.

Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.