With starting catcher Tom Murphy sidelined all season by a broken bone in his left foot, the Mariners already are shy on depth behind the plate. But that didn’t stop general manager Jerry Dipoto from pulling off a huge seven-player deal to move his versatile replacement, Austin Nola, as well
With starting catcher Tom Murphy sidelined all season by a broken bone in his left foot, the Mariners already are shy on depth behind the plate. But that didn’t stop general manager Jerry Dipoto from pulling off a huge seven-player deal to move his versatile replacement, Austin Nola, as well as relievers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla to the Padres in exchange for four promising young players on Sunday night.
The Mariners receive 22-year-old outfielder Taylor Trammell, who was San Diego’s No. 5-ranked prospect, as well as pitcher Andres Muñoz, catcher Luis Torrens and third baseman Ty France. Torrens and France are both on the Padres’ current 28-man roster as backups, while Trammell has been working at the team’s alternate training site. Muñoz had Tommy John surgery in March, so he’s sidelined until at least 2021.
Padres get: C Austin Nola, RHP Dan Altavilla, RHP Austin Adams
Mariners get: INF Ty France, OF Taylor Trammell, RHP Andres Muñoz, C Luis Torrens
Trammell is the prize in the deal and is added to a Mariners farm system that already includes outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez as its top two prospects. Kelenic is the No. 12 overall prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline, while Rodriguez is No. 19 and Trammell No. 60.
Trammell was a first-round Draft pick (35th overall) of the Reds in 2016 and played Double-A ball last year for the Reds and Padres after a midseason swap to San Diego as part of the Trevor Bauer trade.
France is another interesting addition as the 26-year-old has hit .309 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 61 plate appearances this year for the Padres and adds an option at third base for Seattle, which has been a thin position behind veteran Kyle Seager.
“We are excited to add four talented players to the Mariners organization, all of whom are playing in their age-25 or younger seasons,” Dipoto said. “Ty France has shown the ability to play the corners of the diamond, while providing pop at the plate. Andres Muñoz is an electric arm, who at 21, has already gained experience at the big league level.
“Luis Torrens receives well behind the plate and has the ability to be a productive hitter at the Major League level. Taylor Trammell is a dynamic player who has an advanced left-handed bat, speed on the bases and above-average defense in the outfield.”
In exchange, Nola adds a versatile catcher/infielder to the Padres, while Altavilla has been a promising, but inconsistent reliever for Seattle and Adams is currently on the 45-day injured list while recovering from left knee surgery last October.
Dipoto has been aggressive in acquiring as many prospects as possible over the past year and a half, and the Padres are making a major push to add immediate talent to make a playoff push in this shortened season. At 14-22, the Mariners clearly are in seller’s mode and already dealt starting pitcher Taijuan Walker to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later on Thursday.
Nola, 30, has been a huge plus for the Mariners since being signed as a Minor League free agent in November 2018. He came up through the Minors as an infielder until converting to catcher in 2017 in the Marlins’ Minor League system, and he played primarily at first base for Seattle last year as a rookie while posting a .269/.342/.454 line with 10 homers and 31 RBIs in 79 games.
But the Mariners traded former starting catcher Omar Narváez to the Brewers last winter to open the backstop duties for Murphy and Nola. With Murphy sidelined all season, Nola has stepped in as the everyday catcher and has hit .306/.373/.531 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 29 games and played well defensively.
Nola’s departure raises an interesting situation for the Mariners, who are left with just lightly used rookies Joseph Odom and Joe Hudson with any Major League catching experience, though Torrens now joins that mix. Torrens, 24, hit .300 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs for Double-A Amarillo last year and has batted .176 in 70 games over parts of three seasons in the Majors with San Diego.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.