The Indians announced this morning that they have traded the first baseman / outfielder Jake Bauers to the Mariners in return for a player to be named later. Cleveland appointed Bauers to the task over the weekend and cleared another way Bobby Bradley to get an opportunity at first base. Mariners designated infielder Jack Mayfield to task to open a list of Bauers, according to a press release from their own.
Bauers, 25, has spent parts of three seasons at the MLB level, but has yet to produce much in the major leagues. He was ranked as one of the game’s top 75 or so prospects ahead of both the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Baseball America, FanGraphs and MLB.com, but the above average raw power and hit tools that contributed to those rankings have yet to really manifest. He has logged 924 record appearances between the Indians and the Rays, but managed only a lukewarm .21
It probably feels to many as if Bauers should be older than 25, given that his MLB debut came at the age of 22. But he is still a relatively youthful opportunity for sailors to try to catch some lightning in a bottle . He is out of minor league opportunities, so he will have to stick to the Major League list, otherwise he will be re-appointed to the task. But with the mounting damage that seafarers face at first base and in the outfield, it is not a surprise to see them bring another option.
The Mariners are without a midfielder Kyle Lewis indefinitely after this year’s novice in 2020 sustained another knee injury late last month. First baseman Evan White fought again to start the season and has now spent almost a month at IL with a strained hip flexion. Infield / outfield options Sam Haggerty (shoulder inflammation) and Dylan Moore (calf strain) are both on the shelf at the moment, especially with Haggerty out of the picture after moving to 60-day IL. Meanwhile, uber-prospect Jarred Kelenic fell into a nightmare downturn after breaking a couple of early homers to begin his MLB career. Seattle selected him back for Triple-A Tacoma this week.
This is the third trade and fourth organization for Bauers, a seventh round from 2013 that has the distinction of having been involved in a few notable three-team swaps. He went from Padres to Rays in 2014 Wil Myers/Trea Turner share. After debuting in the Majors with the Rays in 2018, he was turned to Cleveland in the trade in a trade that also happened to involve the sailors. That agreement was sent Edwin Encarnacion and a competitive balance sheet draft from Cleveland to Seattle with the Indians netting Carlos Santana and trade Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser to Tampa Bay.
As for the 30-year-old Mayfield, he has now been appointed to the task of a trio of AL West teams in the past year. The Astros, who signed Mayfield as an unnamed free agent in 2013, placed him on exceptions last November, and he has since jumped to the Braves, then the Angels and then Seafarers.
Mayfield is the main light-hearted auxiliary film. He is a more than capable defender on any of the shortstop, second base or third base, but has struggled significantly to handle big league pitching. He’s had 150 turns at the plate in the last three seasons combined, but put together a dismal 0.168 / .195 / .259 output at the time. However, Mayfield has a much more impressive .269 / .325 / .475 strike line in parts of five Triple-A seasons, and he can be selected both this year and next year. Seafarers have a week to deal with him or try to give him through direct exceptions.