SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto made a habit of moving quickly to fill his offseason wish list during his first two years with Seattle, and the Mariners' general manager is at it again, acquiring young first baseman Ryon Healy from the A's on Wednesday in exchange for right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan
SEATTLE -- Jerry Dipoto made a habit of moving quickly to fill his offseason wish list during his first two years with Seattle, and the Mariners' general manager is at it again, acquiring young first baseman Ryon Healy from the A's on Wednesday in exchange for right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan and Minor League infielder Alexander Campos.
Healy, 25, put up a .271/.302/.451 slash line with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs in 149 games in 2017 for Oakland in his second season (first full season) in the Majors and is under team control for another five years.
The A's were willing to move Healy after the development of first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman left him competing for time at DH, where Khris Davis is expected to get more starts in 2018.
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Though he played third base initially for the A's, Healy is a more natural first baseman, and Dipoto expects him to handle that job on a regular basis next year and potentially beyond.
"After going year to year such a long time with first base a question mark, we're hopeful Ryon can step in and solve much of that problem," Dipoto said. "He's a good offensive player who gives us that right-handed power element."
Finding a first baseman figured to be one of Dipoto's primary objectives this winter after Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia both became free agents. Dipoto made 15 offseason trades last year in his second season as Mariners GM. This is his first of the current winter, coming as the General Managers Meetings wrap up in Orlando, Fla.
Healy will make close to the MLB minimum for the next two years before becoming arbitration-eligible. His salary will allow Dipoto to spend elsewhere in free agency, and also eliminates the need for a platoon situation at first base.
"For us, that creates flexibility in other areas," Dipoto said. "We have a couple other needs we'd like to address, not the least of which is adding an element to the outfield, and we'd also like to add to our pitching staff where possible. The flexibility he provides to our roster gives us some ability to do some more creative things in other areas."
Healy played 78 games at designated hitter for the A's last season, in addition to 39 games at first base and 34 at third. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound right-handed hitter batted .314 with a .526 slugging percentage against lefties, but also had 21 doubles and 18 homers with a .257 average in 439 at-bats against right-handers.
"The opportunity ahead is very exciting," Healy said from Miami, where he was visiting friends this week during a break from his offseason work in Southern California. "Obviously they have a ton of professional players, and I'm beyond excited to learn from them and try to help them get to the next level."
Healy made his Major League debut with the A's on July 15, 2016, and played 72 games that season, hitting .305 with 13 home runs while being named to Baseball America's All-Rookie team while playing primarily at third base.
Healy was a third-round Draft pick by the A's in 2013 out of the University of Oregon.
To get Healy, the Mariners gave up a versatile reliever in Pagan, who was one of the team's pleasant surprises in '17 as a rookie. The 26-year-old went 2-3 with a 3.22 ERA and racked up 56 strikeouts in 50 1/3 innings over 34 appearances.
"He had a great year," Dipoto said. "In addition to a great job on the mound, he's just a wonderful human being, a very likable guy. I've done this a fair amount over the last 6-7 years, and some phone calls are tougher than others. That one was tough because of the kind of person he is."
Pagan, who pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, recorded his first big league win at Oakland on Aug. 9 with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He opened the season at Triple-A Tacoma, where he went 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA and five saves in 23 outings.
Pagan was a 10th-round Draft pick of the Mariners in 2013 out of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.
Campos, a 17-year-old out of Venezuela, hit .290 with two home runs and 26 RBIs in 59 games for the Dominican Summer League Mariners in his first year of pro ball. He played primarily at shortstop, but also appeared in games at second and third base, as well as designated hitter.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.