Mariners trade Ben Gamel, prospect to Milwaukee for Domingo Santana
Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel and pitching prospect Noah Zavolas are heading to Milwaukee in a trade for outfielder Domingo Santana.
The trade was announced late Friday afternoon, giving the Mariners a right-handed hitter with some pop to go with a an influx of new left-handed bats acquired earlier this offseason.
“Santana was one of the most productive outfielders in baseball in 2017,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a press release. “He did not have the same opportunities last year, but his age and power bat from the right side make him a very good fit for our club moving forward.”
Santana, 26, hit 30 home runs in 2017 for the Brewers but struggled to find playing time in a crowded Milwaukee outfield in 2018, to the point that he played 55 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs. He still hit .265 with five homers, 20 RBIs and a .740 OPS in 85 games with Milwaukee, even delivering a key pinch-hit RBI double in the National League Division Series against the Dodgers.
Santana already has five-plus years of major league experience, debuting at the age of 21 for the Houston Astros in 2014. He went to the Brewers during the 2015 season and had a breakout campaign in 2017, smashing 30 home runs to go along with 29 doubles, 15 stolen bases, 80 RBIs, 88 runs scored and a slash line of .278/.371/.505.
Gamel, 26, found himself in a similar situation to Santana with the Mariners last season. He hit .272 with a .358 on-base percentage in 101 games with Seattle but had a stint with Triple-A Tacoma in August when the M’s opted to keep the more defensive-minded Guillermo Heredia as their fourth outfielder following the acquisition of Cameron Maybin.
Acquired from the Yankees late in the 2016 season, Gamel hit .275 with 11 home runs, 27 doubles, five triples, 59 RBIs and 68 runs scored in 134 games in 2017. His power numbers dipped along with his playing time in 2018, with 19 of his 70 hits going for extra bases, just one of which was a home run.
Zavolas, 22, was an 18th-round pick by Seattle in the 2018 MLB Draft. The Harvard product had a 3.03 ERA over 19 relief appearances with Short-A Everett and Single-A Modesto.