SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto engineered his second trade in two days on Thursday, sending hard-throwing relief prospect Thyago Vieira to the White Sox in exchange for international slot money.The Mariners will receive $500,000 in slot money from the White Sox. According to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, that puts
SEATTLE -- Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto engineered his second trade in two days on Thursday, sending hard-throwing relief prospect Thyago Vieira to the White Sox in exchange for international slot money.
The Mariners will receive $500,000 in slot money from the White Sox. According to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo, that puts their available money at $1.5575 million, having spent $3.9425 million already this year. Such slot money could be used to pursue Japanese standout Shohei Ohtani or other international prospects.
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Vieira was the second right-handed reliever dealt by Dipoto, who also sent Emilio Pagan and Minor League shortstop Alexander Campos to the A's on Wednesday in exchange for first baseman Ryon Healy.
Vieira enters the White Sox prospect rankings at No. 20, per MLBPipeline.com. He had been rated the Mariners' No. 8 prospect, while the 17-year-old Campos was No. 15.
Dipoto said Vieira's trade serves several purposes for Seattle. One is the obvious addition of adding to the bonus pool, which "provides the potential for many positive player procurement outcomes."
But Dipoto also noted that the Mariners' 40-man roster had been overweighted with pitchers due in part to additions as a result of the number of injuries last season. Prior to the two trades, Seattle had just 13 position players on its 40-man roster.
"That ratio wasn't going to work," Dipoto said, "especially considering our needs at first base and the outfield, as well as depth. Therefore, we've been exploring creative solutions, this being one."
Vieira opened eyes last year with his 100-plus-mph fastball, though the 24-year-old from Brazil has struggled with his command. He appeared in one game for Seattle last season in his Major League debut, throwing a scoreless inning with one strikeout on Aug. 14 against the Orioles.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder was 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA and two saves in 29 games for Double-A Arkansas, with 35 strikeouts and 15 walks in 36 1/3 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A Tacoma in mid-July, and he went 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA and two saves in 12 outings there, with 11 strikeouts and seven walks in 17 2/3 innings.
Vieira signed with the Mariners as a free agent out of Brazil in 2010, and he pitched in the Futures Game last year.
With the move, Seattle's 40-man roster now has 35 players.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has talked about improving the team's bullpen amid the overall rebuild after trading Player Page for David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak, Dan Jennings and Tyler Clippard last season. Vieira and his raw talent could work into that mix at the outset of 2018, but he certainly figures as a future piece.
The White Sox 40-man roster sits at 36 with the move.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.