Mariners Acquire Zach Duke From Twins To Bolster Bullpen
As the Mariners cling to the second wild card in the American League, they made another move on the eve of the non-waiver trading deadline to bolster their bullpen as the try to hold back the hard-charging Athletics. They added lefthander Zach Duke this time, pairing him with recent acquisition Sam Tuivailala from the Cardinals.
Shortly after acquiring Duke, the Mariners added righthander Adam Warren from the Yankees in exchange for $1.25 million in international slot money.
Duke has struck out 9.6 hitters per nine innings this year, hasn't allowed a home run and gives manager Scott Servais more flexibility when it comes to his situational options in late innings. Seattle has a negative run differential this season and has been boosted by its excellent record in one-run games.
For the Twins, this continues the process of selling off assets. They dealt reliever Ryan Pressly to the Astros (who also further strengthened their bullpen on deadline eve) and also sent infielder Eduardo Escobar to the D-backs in moves that will help bolster their farm system at the lower levels.
Zach Duke, LHP
Duke has been in this role before. He was traded by the White Sox to the Cardinals at the 2016 deadline and now finds himself in a similar situation almost two years to the day. He gives Seattle a reliable lefthanded option to add to James Pazos and Roenis Elias in the Mariners' bullpen, and he has limited lefties to a .562 OPS this season.
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Chase De Jong, RHP
De Jong, the reigning Texas League pitcher of the week, has been traded twice before. He was sent from the Blue Jays to the Dodgers in 2015, then dealt from the Dodgers to the Mariners for a pair of prospects in 2017. He's a control artist who relies on an 87-91 mph fastball at the front of an arsenal that features the standard complement of a curveball, slider and changeup. Each off-speed pitch grades as fringe-average. He doesn't strike out a whole lot of hitters, but doesn't walk many of them, either, and he doesn't induce a ton of grounders. Scouts who've seen De Jong believe he's a likely bullpen candidate.
Ryan Costello, 1B
The Mariners' 31st-round selection in 2017 out of Central Connecticut State had performed quite well in his first taste of full-season ball. His 70 RBIs lead the Midwest League, and his 16 home runs are tied for third in the organization. Scouts who've seen Costello in the Midwest League see a player with a power-first approach who is limited defensively. He needs to improve his approach and strike zone discipline to get the bat to play at the higher levels. There are others who believe in the swing and that further improvement could give him an outside chance at an up-and-down future in the big leagues.