Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto’s take on Seattle’s trade acquisitions

Aug 31, 2020, 4:33 PM
Mariners OF Taylor Trammell...
New Mariners OF Taylor Trammell was MVP of the 2018 All-Star Futures Game. (Getty)

The Mariners were not quiet at the trade deadline this year.

Next M’s series postponed to Thursday due to A’s positive COVID-19 test

As the dust settled around baseball, Seattle made four trades over the last week-plus, resulting in the acquisition of six young players by sending catcher Austin Nola and three relievers to the Padres in two separate trades, as well as starting pitcher Taijuan Walker and designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach to Toronto in another pair of trades for a player to be named later and cash considerations, respectively.

General manager Jerry Dipoto joined Mariners announcers Aaron Goldsmith and Rick Rizzs during Monday’s game against the Angels on 710 ESPN Seattle and discussed what he could in terms of who Seattle received in the deadline deals.

In the Walker deal with Toronto and a last-minute trade that sent reliever Taylor Williams to the Padres, the Mariners will be receiving one player to be named later from each of those organizations. Because neither of those two players are on a 60-man roster, Dipoto said their identities won’t be revealed until between the end of the season and next February. (The Mariners are reportedly receiving 2019 fourth-round pick Matt Brash, a right-handed pitcher, from San Diego for Williams, according to Dennis Lin, Padres reporter for The Athletic.)

The biggest deal was completed on Sunday, which sent Nola and relievers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla to San Diego. The Mariners officially announced all aspects of the trade, which resulted in infielder Ty France, catcher Luis Torrens, right-handed reliever Andres Muñoz and outfielder Taylor Trammell, MLB Pipeline’s No. 60 prospect in baseball, coming over to Seattle.

Here’s what Dipoto shared about those four players.

IF Ty France

France, who turned 26 last month, is someone Dipoto said the Mariners have “coveted for a while” and was a key part in getting a deal with San Diego done. In 55 at-bats for the Padres this year, France is hitting .309 with two home runs and 10 RBIs while playing all across the diamond. But it all starts with his bat.

“We think Ty can really hit,” Dipoto said. “This is a guy who hit .399 – and I’m not misquoting that – in Triple-A (in 2019). He’s been a strong offensive performer anywhere he’s ever been dating back to college … He plays third base, second base, third base and has been out in the outfield.”

Dipoto also said France could become a key figure in the middle of Seattle’s lineup.

“We feel like he has a potential everyday bat hitting somewhere in that five or six spot in a good order with real run-producing-type skills,” he said.

C Luis Torrens

Torrens, 24, has MLB experience dating back to 2017, and while his numbers at the plate in the big leagues are unimpressive (.176 average), Dipoto thinks there’s more to the bat, as evidenced last year.

“You can look beyond what he’s actually done in these last couple years if you get hung up on his career major league line, he was a 21-year-old Rule-5 draft pick right out of A-ball in 2017 and the Padres worked him through that season and he didn’t play much, put up a poor line and has since gone back and redeveloped, I guess,” he said. “He played through A-ball and Double-A and is now 24 years old, is coming off a season where he just blew it up offensively in Double-A as a 23 year old (.300 average with 15 home runs).”

Mariners fans will soon get a closer look at Torrens, as Dipoto said he’ll be a key part of the club the rest of 2020.

“He can catch, he can throw and you’ll see him get most of the reps for us here in September,” he said.

RHP Andres Muñoz

In Muñoz, 21, the Mariners are getting a young, big-time arm with MLB experience for the back end of their bullpen once he recovers from Tommy John surgery he underwent in March.

“His average velocity was actually 99.8 mph last year, which I’m going to round up to 100,” Dipoto said. “He is, we think, one of the best arms in baseball and it’s also what we would consider to be, on an 80 scale, about a 70 breaking ball. He’s just 21 years old, still learning to harness all the power that he has.”

Muñoz made his MLB debut last season at 20 years old and impressed, pitching in 22 games, striking out 30 and walking 11 in 23 innings to go along with a 3.91 ERA and 1.174 WHIP.

As far as his recovery from surgery goes, Dipoto expects Muñoz to be ready to play in games sometime in the middle or end of next May.

“(He gives) us a real – I don’t want to reference it as an upside play – we think he’s very good now and we’re excited to see where he is when this rehab is complete,” Dipoto said.

OF Taylor Trammell

The headliner in the deal for the Mariners is Trammell, a 22-year-old outfielder who has been considered a top prospect since he was drafted in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school. He also appeared in the All-Star Futures Game in both 2018, when he was the game’s MVP, and 2019.

“Just a tremendous talent who we think has top-of-the-lineup upside (as) an everyday player,” Dipoto said.

Trammell is extremely fast, having stolen 110 bases in 426 career games, and also has an intriguing bat with developing power. His career minor league stats are a .270 average with 33 home runs and 195 RBIs. He also can work walks, as evidenced by his career .363 on-base percentage. He played all of 2019 at Double-A.

Dipoto said Trammell visited Seattle for a pre-draft visit in 2016 and was “a strong consideration” for the Mariners’ first two picks that year. The Mariners ultimately selected outfielder Kyle Lewis at 11th overall, then took third baseman Joe Rizzo 50th overall after the Reds took Trammell with the 35th pick.

“I think a lot about him. Just a terrific athlete,” Dipoto said. “It’s very high-grade makeup and we’ve heard that not just from where he is in San Diego but his previous stop in Cincinnati and even dating back to high school. Just a super upside prospect and we’re really thrilled to have him.”

Trammell is incredibly talented, but he’s also a bit of a prankster, apparently.

“I called Taylor and welcomed him to the Mariners and I said ‘Taylor, it’s Jerry Dipoto with the Mariners. Welcome to the M’s,'” Dipoto recalled. “And he said ‘Excuse me?’ And I said, ‘Sorry, have the Padres not called yet?’ And he was dead quiet for 15 or 20 seconds and he goes ‘No, I’m just kidding with you.’ He said ‘I’m pumped, man. This is great.'”

Follow’s Brandon Gustafson on Twitter.

Mariners trade deadline coverage

M’s trade Taylor Williams to Padres at deadline
Mariners trade Austin Nola to Padres in seven-player deal
A look at the 4 players Seattle got from Padres in Nola deal
Drayer: Hard to see deal with Padres hurting M’s
M’s trade Walker to Blue Jays for payer to be named later or cash

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