Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers have acquired Pirates reliever Tony Watson. In exchange, the Pirates will get minor league infielder Oneil Cruz and minor league righty Angel German.
Watson has been one of baseball’s most reliable relievers over the past several years, averaging 72 appearances and posting a 158 ERA+ over the past five seasons. This season he has taken a bit of a step back, and has struggled in the closer’s role. He currently owns a 5-3 record with a 3.66 ERA and a 35/14 K/BB ratio in 46.2 innings. He has ten saves for the Pirates but has blown seven. With Kenley Jansen in Los Angeles, however, Watson will obviously not be closing.
Watson was viewed as a fallback option for the Dodgers, who were first rumored to be interested in Yu Darvish and, if he could not be acquired, were looking at relief help, with Zach Britton at the top of the radar. Britton too was ultimately unobtainable, so Watson it is.
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.