Mariners boost catcher depth, add Curt Casali in trade with Giants

Aug 2, 2022, 2:04 PM | Updated: 3:50 pm
Mariners Curt Casali...
Curt Casali circles the bases after hitting a home run for the Giants on May 16. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Mariners are making an upgrade behind the plate.

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Seattle picked up 33-year-old catcher Curt Casali in a trade with the San Francisco Giants along with left-handed pitcher Matthew Boyd for prospects Michael Stryffeler (right-handed pitcher) and Andy Thomas (catcher).

To make room on the Mariners’ MLB roster, they released left-handed pitcher Tommy Milone.

For more on the addition of Boyd, a local product, read this story here.

The Mariners will have to wait a bit for Casali to join their roster. He’s on the injured list with a strained oblique and last played in a game for the Giants on July 4. He was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento at the time of the trade, though, and that team is currently hosting the Mariners-affiliated Tacoma Rainiers, making for an easy switch of dugouts.

Casali will provide Seattle an improvement behind starting catcher Cal Raleigh, as current backup Luis Torrens has struggled mightily at the plate this season and is not well regarded for his defense. Torrens is out of minor league options, meaning he would need to clear waivers to be optioned down, so this trade could spell the end of his time with the M’s.

In 41 games with the Giants this season, Casali has a .231/.325/.370 slash line for a .696 OPS with four home runs and three doubles. He has played in the big leagues since 2014, spending four seasons with Tampa Bay, three with Cincinnati and the last two with the Giants.

Perhaps most important for the Mariners, though, is that Casali was a member of the Cincinnati Reds from 2018 through 2020, meaning he has experience catching new starting pitcher Luis Castillo. Seattle acquired Castillo, a two-time All-Star, in a blockbuster trade on Friday.

Stryffeler, 26, has pitched at Double-A Arkansas this season. The right-hander has a 2.26 ERA over 35 appearances for the Travelers.

Thomas, a fifth-round 2021 MLB Draft pick out of Baylor by the Mariners, has a slash line of .264/.400/.444 in 64 games with High-A Everett this season.

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