What They Said: Sewald, Servais after Seattle Mariners trade

Jul 31, 2023, 5:50 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm

Seattle Mariners Paul Sewald...

Paul Sewald of the Seattle Mariners during a game against the Yankees on May 31, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Some trades come with more emotion than others, and the deal the Seattle Mariners made Monday that sends Paul Sewald to the Arizona Diamondbacks is certainly one of the franchise’s more emotional ones in recent memory.

Seattle Mariners Trades: Sewald to D-backs | Pollock to Giants

Shortly after Monday’s trade that brings back Dominic Canzone, Josh Rojas and prospect Ryan Bliss in the Mariners’ return for Sewald, both he and Seattle manager Scott Servais talked to the media about the move.

Here’s a look at what they said.

Paul Sewald

Sewald was honest about his disappointment in being traded by Seattle, but he made sure to show his appreciation for the Mariners’ role in resurrecting his career after he joined the organization in 2021 following four disappointing seasons with the New York Mets.

“Gonna miss this place. It was an amazing three years. Changed my life, changed my career,” he said. “You know, personally, professionally, and I owe a lot to the people here. I feel like I gave them everything I had for three years. It’s gonna be tough, but the Diamondbacks traded for me, which meant they wanted me more, and I’m excited to get to Arizona and do what I can.”

Sewald shared an interesting perspective by comparing where he was in 2021 to now.

“Not getting traded for three prospects on a team that was contending, that’s for sure,” he replied when asked if he could imagine where he’d be without his time with the M’s. “Three years later, I’m not sure I’d even have been in baseball without Seattle. As bittersweet as today is, I am very thankful for everything that happened in early 2021 that has got me here. … I came here thinking about Plan B and leave as a closer traded to a contender for three prospects. It’s kind of wild, and I will be forever thankful for them changing how I pitch and I’m going to do the same thing in Arizona when I get there. Just fastballs at the top and sweeping sliders, just like I’ve done for three years here. Nothing special.”

The 33-year-old right-hander said the possibility of being traded has been on his mind for the “past week, past month or so.”

“When you’re on the bubble, it’s a really tough place to be,” he said of the Mariners’ standing. “The teams in front of us had played great and Seattle was going to have a challenge to get past them. The Mariners didn’t play quite as well, and Jerry and Justin (Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto and general manager Justin Hollander) had to do what they felt was the best thing for the Mariners organization. … Didn’t really catch me by surprise that I was traded, just disappointed that it happened and also excited at the same time. It’s just one of those things.”

Scott Servais

Servais began his usual pregame press availability by sharing his thoughts on Sewald’s contributions over the past three seasons.

For me personally, the evolution of Paul Sewald as a Mariner was some kind of story. A guy signs a minor league contract to come in here and turn things around in the COVID year, and we brought him to the big leagues really not knowing what to expect. He was pitching in two-inning stints oftentimes in the middle of the game, and then to work his way back to be one of the best closers in the game at the present time based on the numbers he’s put up and how he’s done it kind of in the middle of our turnaround here. So anytime you trade guys like that, it’s hard, it’s really hard. A guy that’s meant so much to our team and certainly the back end of our bullpen.

But we all understand this is a business and, you know, when you’re looking at players and where they’re at in their career and where we’re at, trying to add younger players and guys that could fit in here, and guys that our front office is very high on. Adding more offense and young players that are athletic and doing things there. So it’s a good baseball trade, but it’s one that hurts just because of our relationship with Paul and what Paul has meant to us. But I say all that and here probably in the next 24 hours, we’ll have a couple more guys on the roster suited up and hopefully they can help us continue to try to make up some ground here in this playoff hunt. I still like our chances, I think we’re playing really good baseball throughout the month of July.

Who moves into Sewald’s role?

“We have, obviously, Andrés Muñoz, Matt Brash. (Justin) Topa’s had a great year for us,” Servais said. “We’ve got guys that we can put in that spot. It won’t be the same. We’ll mix and match it like we have done in the past. This year, Paul kind of took on just being more of a closer role as ‘Muni’ was out for a while, and Paul did great in that spot. But we’ll continue to mix and match, moving different guys in that closer role. It’s not really a closer role here with us. It’s just the guy who pitches the ninth inning that day. It might be one guy one day, and might be somebody else the next day based on matchups.”

Scouting report on the newest Seattle Mariners

The Mariners returned home Monday after winning two of three in Arizona against Sewald’s new team, which means they saw Canzone and Rojas in person. What does Servais think of the two newest M’s players?

“First of all, they’re both left-handed hitters and will help our lineup. You see our lineup is predominately right-handed,” he said. “So they’re young guys, they’re very athletic players, they’re good defenders, they can run. So it’s more of the athletic (type of players who can) make things happen on the field. Both guys hit the fastball very well against us in Arizona. Again, you have to wait and see how things play out, but on paper it looks like it can be a good addition to our lineup.

“Certainly the positional versatility that Rojas brings, he’s played second, he’s played third, he can play short, he’s played the outfield. Canzone’s a guy that’s hit at every level that he’s ever been at. He’s a left-handed hitter with power, and he can hit a fastball. You know, it doesn’t matter if it comes in 100 mph, he proved that to us here this weekend. They’re interesting young players.”

For more on the Mariners’ trade with the Diamondbacks, click here to watch the instant reaction from Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob.

More on the Seattle Mariners

Castillo, Crawford lead Mariners to 4-0 win over D-backs
Rumors hint at Seattle Mariners selling before trade deadline
Drayer: What’s at stake in this Seattle Mariners trade deadline?

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What They Said: Sewald, Servais after Seattle Mariners trade