Mariners acquire 3 lefty prospects for Lowe
MINNEAPOLIS -- Veteran reliever Mark Lowe, one of the better comeback stories in baseball this season, was dealt by the Mariners to the Blue Jays for three left-handed Minor League pitchers before Friday's 1 p.m. PT Trade Deadline.
Lowe, 32, posted a 1.00 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 36 innings over 34 appearances this season after signing a Minor League deal with the Mariners. The 10-year veteran had pitched primarily in Triple-A the previous two years during stints with the Angels and Indians, with his last full season in the Majors coming with the Rangers in 2012.
"Obviously, losing Mark was tough," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He's one of the top right-handed relievers in all of baseball. He's done a tremendous job for us. He was everything that is right about the Seattle Mariners. He represented this organization in the highest fashion. He's a quality individual, quality in the clubhouse, and it was tough to lose him."
In return, the Mariners received left-handers Rob Rasmussen, Nick Wells and Jacob Brentz. Rasmussen has pitched in just 11 Major League games, and he was mostly with Triple-A Buffalo this season. He joined the Mariners in Minnesota in time for Friday night's game.
Wells and Brentz were pitching this year for Toronto's Rookie-level Bluefield squad in the Appalachian League and will report to Class A Short Everett.
Rasmussen, 26, appeared in one game with Toronto earlier this year, and he was 4-1 with one save and a 2.36 ERA. He recorded 40 strikeouts in 34 games, including one start, with Buffalo in the International League, and he posted a 2.92 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings with the Blue Jays over the past two years.
Rasmussen was a second-round Draft pick of the Marlins in 2010 out of UCLA.
Ranked as Seattle's No. 21 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, Wells, 19, was a third-round Draft pick in 2014, and he went 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in seven starts for Bluefield. Brentz, 20, was an 11th-round pick in 2013, and with Bluefield, he went 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in six starts.
"Our guys view both those guys as young, upside-type left-handers," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "We really appreciate everything Mark has done with the organization. For Toronto's sake, they're getting a guy on top of his game right now who is probably throwing as good as he's ever thrown. For a club trying to make a big splash and get into a good position for the postseason, I think Mark Lowe is a very nice addition."
Lowe, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, began his career with the Mariners from 2006-10 and pitched for the Rangers from 2010-12. He has a career 3.80 ERA in 305 games.
Seattle, which is 11 games under .500 after losing Thursday's series opener against the Twins, also dealt outfielder Dustin Ackley to the Yankees on Thursday for a pair of prospects: outfielder Ramon Flores and right-hander Jose Ramirez.
Ramirez is also joining the Mariners, while Flores was assigned to Tacoma.