Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have traded reliever Shawn Kelley to the Yankees for young outfielder Abraham Almonte.
Kelley was designated for assignment by the M’s last week to clear a 40-man roster spot for catcher Kelly Shoppach. The 28-year-old right-hander had a decent 3.25 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 45/15 K/BB ratio in 44 1/3 innings last season out of the Mariners’ bullpen and will presumably be in the running for a middle relief job this spring in Yankees camp.
Almonte, 23, batted .273/.347/.389 with four home runs and 32 stolen bases in 85 games last summer between rookie ball and Double-A Trenton.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.