The Dodgers and Mariners swapped some minor leaguers on Wednesday evening. The Dodgers announced the acquisition of infielder Drew Jackson and pitcher Aneurys Zabala from the Mariners in exchange for pitcher Chase De Jong.
Jackson, 23, was the Mariners’ top infield prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He was selected by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. Last year, at High-A Bakersfield, Jackson hit .258/.332/.345 with six home runs, 47 RBI, 87 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 598 plate appearances as a shortstop. Jackson is known for having plenty of speed and a strong arm.
Zabala, 20, spent last season with the Mariners’ rookie ball team. He made 16 relief appearances spanning 25 innings, putting up a 2.88 ERA with a 28/15 K/BB ratio. The Mariners signed him as an international free agent in April 2014.
De Jong, 23, was rated as the Dodgers’ 16th-best prospect and seventh-best pitching prospect by MLB Pipeline. The Blue Jays selected him in the second round of the 2012 draft. De Jong spent last year mostly with Double-A Tulsa, posting a 2.86 ERA with a 125/39 K/BB ratio in 141 2/3 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City in September and made one solid start.
Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that the Brewers have put together a trade offer for Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich. He describes the club’s interest in Yelich as “strong,” and notes that other teams remain in the mix.
Yelich’s relationship with the Marlins was recently described by his agent as “irretrievably broken” following the trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon. His agent said Yelich “needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win.” Understandably, teams have been calling the Marlins asking about him.
The 26-year-old hit .282/.369/.439 with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances last season. He’s in the fourth year of a seven-year, $49.57 million contract of which $44.5 million remains. Given how slow the free agent market has been this offseason, it’s difficult to say exactly what he would get if he were to hit the open market, but it is safe to say that his current contract is very much a bargain for his team, which only makes him even more attractive to inquiring teams.
The Brewers are an interesting team to get involved in the Yelich sweepstakes. Their outfield already has three capable players in Ryan Braun, Domingo Santana, and Keon Broxton. Yelich would still be an upgrade, but the Brewers’ resources may be better spent in other areas like the starting rotation.
Given Yelich’s displeasure and Jeter’s insistence on stripping the Marlins bare — including, potentially, the iconic home run sculpture — it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see a trade happen.