SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners send Mike Montgomery to Cubs in 4-player trade

Jul 20, 2016, 2:51 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm

The Mariners have made a four-player trade with the Cubs, sending left-hander Mike Montgomery to Chicago along with minor-league pitcher Jordan Pries in exchange for a pair of prospects: first baseman Dan Vogelbach and right-hander Paul Blackburn.

The Mariners announced the trade Wednesday afternoon.

Vogelbach, 23, is the centerpiece of the trade for the Mariners. The left-handed-hitting slugger has been in the Cubs’ system since he was selected in the second round as an 18-year-old in the 2011 draft. He has been enjoying a strong season at Triple-A Iowa, maintaining a .318/.425./548 line with 16 home runs, 64 RBIs and 55 walks to 67 strikeouts.

Drayer: Wade LeBlanc moves to the bullpen as M’s make rotation changes

Listed at a stout 6 feet and 250 pounds, the Mariners hope he can be their first baseman or designated hitter of the future. First, he will report to Triple-A Tacoma, general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

“He rakes. He’s raked everywhere he’s ever been,” Dipoto said. “He’s on base, he hits homers, and he’s got a little bit of personality to him when he plays, which wasn’t down on our list of attractive elements about him. He plays with a certain uniqueness. It’s fun.

“We feel like he has a chance to be a real impact in the middle of an order. … It’s major-league ready now and we envision him as part of the short- and long-term solutions.”

Blackburn, 22, was the 56th overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Cubs. In 18 starts with Double-A Tennessee this season, he has a 6-4 record with a 3.17 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 72 strikeouts and 26 walks.

Blackburn will be assigned to Double-A Jackson. Dipoto said the Mariners project him to be ready to help the big-league club in the second half of next season.

“Paul Blackburn really starts to back-fill our pitching depth,” Dipoto said. “He’s a former first-rounder with a really good arm, three average-to-better pitches, and he throws strikes. He’s having an All-Star season in the Southern League.”

Neither Blackburn nor Vogelbach have debuted in the major leagues to this point.

“The attraction to us here was getting younger, getting deeper,” Dipoto said. “As I’ve said all along, up to and including today from the time I got here, we’re going to take advantage of opportunity as best we can, and we had a great opportunity.”

Montgomery, 27, pitched well out of the bullpen for Seattle this season and had just recently rejoined the starting rotation. A first-round pick by the Royals in 2008, he has a 2.34 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 54 strikeouts and 18 walks in 61 2/3 innings (two starts) this season.

“Mike had a good deal of value in the market today,” Dipoto said. “I told him he built up so much equity from opening day to today in the industry that his value I thought was high. … He pitched incredibly well for us. He did a great job in the pen, he’s done a great job since we asked him to fill in in the rotation, and he fills a real niche for the Cubs, and I think that combination of events allowed us to get a pretty good deal for him.”

Pries, 26, is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in seven games (three starts) with Triple-A Tacoma this year. A 30th-round selection by Seattle in 2011, he has yet to reach the big leagues in six pro seasons.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Logan Gilbert George Kirby...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners’ rotation got work done in very different ways this offseason

The Seattle Mariners' starters are tight as a group, but have different personalities that's reflected in different offseason approaches.

14 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Ty France...

Brandon Gustafson

Morosi breaks down three big Mariners concerns entering 2024

MLB Network's Jon Morosi takes a closer look at what issues the Seattle Mariners' roster may face in the upcoming 2024 season.

16 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Bryan Woo...

Brandon Gustafson

Mariners’ Woo eager to take lessons learned as rookie into 2024

2023 was an eventful year for Bryan Woo, who now enters 2024 as an established member of the Seattle Mariners' starting rotation.

1 day ago

Seattle Mariners Ty France...

Shannon Drayer

Drayer: Mariners’ Ty France back after drastic offseason of adjustments

Seattle Mariners 1B Ty France previously kept changes to a minimum, but after posting career-low numbers, he had an eye-opening offseason.

2 days ago

AL West Houston Astros Seattle Mariners...

Marc Berman

AL West Look-In: Astros’ Tucker hopes he and Bregman get extended

Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker is open to a long-term contract with the AL West powerhouse and says preliminary dialogue had begun.

2 days ago

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Shannon Drayer

Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez determined to be even better in 3rd year

Even after finishing fourth in the MVP race in 2023, Julio Rodríguez said, with no false humility, his second season with the Seattle Mariners was a sophomore slump.

2 days ago

Mariners send Mike Montgomery to Cubs in 4-player trade