The Mariners dealt starting pitcher J.A. Happ to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Triple-A pitcher and local product Adrian Sampson just before Friday afternoon’s MLB trade deadline.
Happ, 32, had a strong start to his Mariners career in 2015, but the lefty has struggled in recent weeks. He has a 4-6 record with a 4.64 ERA and 1.41 WHIP this season. He was saddled with the loss Thursday against the Twins after yielding seven runs (six earned) in 3 1/3 innings.
The trade seemingly makes room for left-handed starter Roenis Elias to be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and rejoin the Mariners starting rotation.
Sampson, 23, is from Redmond and played at Skyline High School and Bellevue College. In 21 starts (124 1/3 innings) with Triple-A Indianapolis, he went 8-8 with a 3.98 ERA and 95 strikeouts. He was rated 15th among all prospects in the Pirates system by Baseball America prior to the season.
Following the trade, the Mariners recalled relief pitchers Jose Ramirez and Rob Rasmussen from Triple-A Tacoma. Both players were acquired in their previous deals.