The Seattle Mariners have traded outfielder Dustin Ackley to the New York Yankees.
The deal includes the Yankees sending pitcher Jose Ramirez and outfield prospect Ramon Flores to the Mariners.
Ackley, 27, hit .215 with six home runs, 19 RBIs and a .635 OPS in 85 games with Seattle this season. He made his debut as a second baseman with the Mariners in 2011, but has since transitioned to the outfield. He has a career .243 average, and hit a career-high 14 home runs and 65 RBIs in 2014.
“He’s had numerous opportunities to be an everyday player – that didn’t work out,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told “Bob, Groz and Tom” on 710 ESPN Seattle. “It’s an environment where for some reason it wasn’t going to work here. We were patient … He’s a good kid, he’s a good worker. We wish him the very best and hopefully he has a lot of success elsewhere.”
The No. 2 overall MLB Draft pick in 2009 out of North Carolina, Ackley is arbitration eligible the next two years and set to be a free agent in 2018.
“Dustin was so highly touted when he was drafted and one of the best college hitters of the decade, and he did some nice things for us but there were also points in time when things just didn’t work,” Zduriencik said. “You get to a point where you have to look forward and evaluate everything and in that scenario we just thought that this was the right thing to do at this time.”
Zduriencik added that the Yankees plan on using Ackley at second base, where he has played just one game in the last two seasons. New York’s second base situation has been shaky since the Mariners signed Robinson Cano as a free agent before the 2014 season.
Seattle originally announced it had recalled first baseman Jesus Montero from Triple-A Tacoma to take Ackley’s place on the active roster, but has since rescinded that announcement and said a corresponding roster move is to come.
Ramirez, 25, has appeared in 11 games for the Yankees since last season, maintaining a 0-2 record and 7.62 ERA. The 6-foot-3, right-handed power arm was most recently the closer for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“He’s had a couple little stints in the big leagues that were somewhat unsuccessful, but they were very short stints – young kid going into Yankee Stadium,” Zduriencik said. “But he’s an upper-90-mph guy, big-body guy. Our guys have been sitting on him for the last week or so and they really like what they saw.”
Flores, 23, is a left-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman. He has a .286 average, seven home runs and 34 RBIs in 73 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He appeared in 12 games earlier this season with the Yankees, hitting .219 (7 for 32) with a double and three runs scored.
“He actually played against us here at our ballpark when we played the Yankees. He’s a Venezuelan kid who’s just a good baseball player,” Zduriencik said. “He’s one of those kinds of kids whose instincts are good, he knows how to play the game. He won’t wow you with his tools but he’s a very dependable guy. He had played winter ball in Venezuela and our bullpen coach, Mike Rojas, was the assistant coach there. He spoke very highly of him as a person, his character, the way he knows how to play the game.”