Mariners trade reliever Shawn Kelley to the Yankees

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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.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.