The Mariners and Athletics made a minor trade on Thursday evening. The Mariners acquired pitcher Dillon Overton from the Athletics in exchange for minor league catcher Jason Goldstein. The Mariners designated catcher Jesus Sucre to create roster space.
Overton, 25, pitched 24 1/3 innings in his first major league season in 2016 for the A’s, yielding 31 runs (all earned) on 48 hits and seven walks with 17 strikeouts. He was very prone to the home run, giving up 12 of them. The Mariners, though, see a lefty who will be under team control for a long time and has room to improve.
Goldstein, soon to be 23 years old, just wrapped up his first season of pro ball. He played five games with the Mariners’ rookie league team and 14 with their low-A affiliate in Everett, Washington. Combined, he hit .279/.328/.311 with two doubles and six RBI in 68 plate appearances.
Starting around this time every year, teams begin to trickle in announcements for their Opening Day starting pitchers. This is really only true of teams with slam-dunk choices, like the Astros with Dallas Keuchel or the Dodgers with Clayton Kershaw. The Mariners, too, have a fairly easy decision.
As Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports, manager Scott Servais has announced that Felix Hernandez will start on Opening Day, April 3, for the Mariners against the Astros on the road. It will be Hernandez’s 10th career Opening Day start for the Mariners and his ninth consecutively. The Mariners have won all but one of those 10 starts, with that lone loss occurring last season against the Rangers.
Hernandez, who will turn 31 years old shortly after Opening Day, wasn’t quite his usual dominating self in 2016. He made 25 starts, putting up a 3.82 ERA with a 122/65 K/BB ratio over 153 1/3 innings. The right-hander also dealt with a calf injury that hampered him between the end of May and mid-July. The Mariners are hoping Hernandez can return to being the Cy Young Award contender he has been over the last five years.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers have signed pitcher Brandon Morrow as a non-roster invitee to spring training. He adds that if Morrow is able to stay healthy, the right-hander has a good shot at making the Opening Day roster. If he does make the roster, Morrow will earn $1.25 million, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
Morrow, 32, was only able to accrue 16 innings during the 2016 season as he dealt with shoulder issues and otherwise spent his time in the minors. In those 16 innings, though, Morrow was effective, putting up a 1.69 ERA with an 8/3 K/BB ratio. He still throws in the mid-90’s as well, so there’s definitely some upside for the Dodgers.