CLEVELAND — Jake Bauers ran out of chances with the Indians. The Mariners are giving him another one.
Less than a week after Cleveland designated the first baseman/outfielder for assignment, Bauers was traded to Seattle for a player to be named or cash.
Bauers, who never produced offensively the way the Indians needed, immediately went into the Mariners’ starting lineup for a day game in Detroit. He’ll be back in Cleveland on Friday when Seattle opens a three-game series.
Bauers was given the Indians’ starting job to open the season despite being outplayed by Bobby Bradley in training camp because he was out of minor league options.
Bauers batted just .190 with six RBIs in 43 games before the Indians designated him for assignment last weekend and recalled Bradley, who already has a homer and four hits in 10 at-bats since coming up.
With first baseman Evan White out with a hip injury, the Mariners are hoping Bauers can produce. He’ll fill in at first while White, who will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma, works his way back and then likely be used in the outfield.
Mariners manager Scott Servais thinks a change of scenery may help Bauers, who is an excellent fielder but has struggled at the plate.
“It takes some players longer to figure it out the big league level, and sometimes it’s a coach, it’s just being in a different uniform that can somehow flip the switch and allows that player to take off and relax,” Servais said before Thursday’s game. “It happens to multiple players, every year in our game and happened to me in my career.
“You get an opportunity to play a little bit, people look at you a little bit differently, they see it through a different lens and maybe they can unlock something. Hopefully that’s what we can do with Jake.”
The 25-year-old Bauers was acquired by Cleveland from Tampa Bay in a three-team deal in 2018. He did not play for the Indians in 2020, spending the abbreviated season at the club’s alternate training site.
In 160 games over two seasons, Bauers batted .218 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs for the Indians.