The Pirates acquired utility infielder/outfielder Sean Rodriguez from the Braves for minor league first baseman Connor Joe, the Braves announced Saturday. Fellow utility player Jace Peterson was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to cover Rodriguez’s spot on Atlanta’s roster.
Rodriguez, 32, has had a rough go of it this season. He sustained a torn rotator cuff and labrum damage in a car crash during the offseason, and only made 15 appearances for the Braves after returning from a lengthy stint on the disabled list. While he isn’t the player he was during his peak 2016 performance, he’ll try to rebound from a sub-Mendoza Line average in Pittsburgh, where he slashed a cumulative .260/.321/.447 with 22 home runs and a .768 OPS in 2015-2016.
Joe, 24, split the bulk of his starts between first base and right field for Low-A West Virginia and Double-A Altoona in 2017. He maintained a respectable, if underwhelming .240/.337/.378 batting line in 295 combined PA for the two clubs and should give the Braves some extra minor league depth while he works his way up to a big league role.
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.