The Hot Stove is off and running, as the Mariners and Rays announced a six-player trade this evening.
The Mariners have sent first baseman Logan Morrison, infielder/outfielder Brad Miller, and right-hander Danny Farquhar to the Rays in exchange for right-hander Nate Karns, left-hander C.J. Riefenhauser, and prospect outfielder Boog Powell.
The deal is the first in the tenure of new Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, who was hired at the end of September. Karns is the headliner here after posting a 3.67 ERA and 145/56 K/BB ratio in 147 innings as a rookie this season. He turns 28 later this month, but will remain under team control through 2020. Karns was shut down early in September due to some forearm tightness, but the Mariners obviously aren’t concerned.
Riefenhauser has posted solid numbers in relief in the minors, but he has struggled to the tune of a 6.30 ERA over 24 appearances in the majors. He turns 28 later this month. Powell, no relation to the other Boog Powell, was acquired from the Athletics in the Ben Zobrist trade last winter. He turns 23 in January and batted .295/.385/.392 with three home runs, 40 RBI, and 18 stolen bases between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham this season. He’s likely not far off from the majors.
Miller is the most intriguing part of the deal for the Rays. And frankly, seems like the perfect Tampa Bay Ray. The 26-year-old batted .258/.329/.402 with 11 home runs, 46 RBI, and 13 stolen bases over 144 games this season. The Rays could either play him in the outfield or at shortstop, so he gives them some options.
Morrison slugged 17 home runs this season (his highest total since 2011), but he did so with a career-low .225 batting average and .685 OPS. The 28-year-old made $2.725 million in 2015 and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter. With James Loney still under contract, Morrison figures to DH in 2016. After posting a 2.66 ERA in 2014, Farquhar struggled with a 5.12 ERA over 43 appearances this season and had a couple of stints in the minors. He’ll be the Rays’ latest reclamation project out of the bullpen.