Yankees tried to acquire Dustin Ackley from Mariners

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Last week the Yankees made several moves before the trade deadline, but George King of the New York Post says one move they wanted to make but couldn’t pull off was acquiring Dustin Ackley from the Mariners.

According to King the Mariners asked for minor leaguer Bryan Mitchell in return for Ackley, but the Yankees weren’t willing to deal the 23-year-old right-hander and instead moved on to acquiring Martin Prado from the Diamondbacks.

Ackley was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft, but he’s now 26 years old and has hit just .248 with a .674 OPS in 456 games as a big leaguer. That includes hitting .258 with six homers and a .693 OPS in 100 games this year as the Mariners’ primary left fielder. He also has experience at second base and center field, so he’d have fit what they were looking for in terms of defensive versatility, but it’s easy to see why New York balked at giving up much for Ackley.

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American draft prospect Carter Stewart signs in Japan

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The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.

The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.

Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.

It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.

He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.