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Mariners get reliever Sam Tuivailala for minor league RHP Seth Elledge in trade with Cards

Sam Tuivailala, a 25-year-old right-handed reliever, has come to the Mariners via trade. (AP)

ANAHEIM – Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has made another “now and later” trade, acquiring right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league right-hander Seth Elledge.

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Tuivailala, 25, comes to the Mariners having put up a 3.69 ERA in 31 appearances out of the bullpen for the Cardinals in 2018. He pitched parts of the previous four seasons in the big leagues, putting together a 6-7 record and 3.65 ERA. He is under club control through the 2022 season but out of minor league options.

“Sam is in the midst of his second consecutive solid big league season, and has pitched in parts of four Major League seasons but has barely two years of service time. We view this as a move for our present and our future,” said Dipoto in the press release.

A third-round draft pick in 2010 and converted shortstop, Tuivailala has pitched primarily in the seventh and eighth innings this year. He has recorded seven multiple-inning outings, as well. This year he has limited right-handed hitters to a .230 batting average against with just a .284 slugging percentage. Despite lefties hitting him hard with a 1.002 OPS against, Tuivailala has allowed just three home runs in 31 2/3 innings this season.

The Cardinals have become the Mariners’ preferred trade partner for pitching as they acquired Mike Leake and Marco Gonzales from St. Louis in 2017.

Seattle sends the other way a promising right-hander in Elledge, a fourth-round pick in 2017. At High-A Modesto, Elledge went 5-1 with nine saves and a 1.17 ERA. He will report to the Cardinals’ Double-A affiliate.

A corresponding 25-man roster move will be announced when Tuivailala arrives. The 40-man roster is now at 39.

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