The Mariners and Diamondbacks have swapped younger large leaguers, saying settlement on a one-for-one deal transferring outfielder/DH Kyle Lewis to Arizona. The Mariners deliver again catcher/outfielder Cooper Hummel in return.
Lewis is the extra well-known of the gamers concerned. Seattle’s first-round decide in 2016, he bounced again from an ACL tear in his proper knee suffered throughout his first skilled season to climb the minor league ranks. The Mercer College product made it to the massive leagues late within the 2019 season, and he regarded as if he’d cemented himself as a key piece of the group the next 12 months.
Through the abbreviated 2020 marketing campaign, Lewis appeared in 58 video games and tallied 242 plate appearances. He linked on 11 residence runs and walked in a implausible 14% of his journeys en path to a .262/.364/.437 line. That offensive manufacturing was 27 proportion factors above league common, by measure of wRC+, and it earned him the American League Rookie of the Yr award.
Few would’ve imagined Lewis would solely spend two extra years in Seattle coming off that season, however he’s quickly fallen down the depth chart. That’s much less as a consequence of efficiency than an unlucky collection of accidents in his proper knee, which has confirmed persistently problematic. Lewis started the 2021 marketing campaign on the injured record, and an April return proved temporary. He went again on the shelf in early June, and the M’s subsequently introduced he’d suffered a meniscus tear. He ended up lacking the rest of the season and wasn’t recovered in time for the beginning of this 12 months.
Lewis opened the 2022 marketing campaign again on the IL. He was reinstated on Could 25, practically a full calendar 12 months since his earlier MLB sport. After a handful of video games, he sadly suffered a concussion and spent one other two months on the IL. Lewis returned in late July, performed in 14 extra video games, then was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. He spent the remainder of the season there however had a strong exhibiting, placing up a .245/.362/.517 line with 12 homers via 42 video games there.
There’s apparent danger for the D-Backs in taking up a participant who has appeared in simply 54 MLB contests over the previous two years. He’s by no means topped 58 large league video games in a season and has solely 130 profession video games and 526 plate appearances underneath his belt. But it’s equally straightforward to see the attraction for normal supervisor Mike Hazen and his group in rolling the cube on Lewis’ upside. Throughout his lone wholesome season, he confirmed the apparent energy and plate self-discipline that made him such a well-regarded prospect. There’s a good bit of swing-and-miss in his sport, however he has an opportunity to be a middle-of-the-order caliber bat if wholesome.
Lewis spent a while in middle area as a minor leaguer and early in his large league profession, however he was nearly completely a delegated hitter this previous season. He’s able to factoring into the nook outfield and will maybe nonetheless moonlight up the center if vital, however the Diamondbacks aren’t going to depend on him in middle area a lot — if in any respect. Corbin Carroll, Daulton Varsho, Jake McCarthy and Alek Thomas are all proficient defenders, and Carroll and Varsho determine to get a very robust quantity of enjoying time up the center. Hazen has expressed a willingness to deal a type of gamers if it nets him assist elsewhere on the roster, however Arizona’s depth of plus defenders ought to give them the prospect to principally preserve Lewis off his ft as a DH.
Including some right-handed pop was additionally a key offseason goal for Arizona, and Lewis may very well be a long-term righty energy bat within the desert. He’s nonetheless simply 27 years previous and has two years and 146 days of main league service time. That qualifies him for early arbitration as a Tremendous Two participant, however MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz tasks him for only a $1.2MM wage. He’s arbitration eligible via 2026, and the early-career accidents have stored Lewis from constructing the type of resume that’d be handsomely rewarded via that course of to date.
Lewis’ departure will probably be jarring for Mariners followers, however it regarded more and more probably Seattle might subtract from the nook outfield after buying Teoscar Hernández from the Blue Jays yesterday. As one other right-handed hitting proper fielder/DH, Hernández made Lewis an arguably superfluous presence on the roster. Julio Rodríguez has cemented himself because the franchise middle fielder, and the M’s nonetheless have plenty of inside choices — Jesse Winker, Jarred Kelenic, Taylor Trammell, Sam Haggerty and Dylan Moore — as left area prospects. The M’s have reportedly floated Winker’s title in commerce talks, however they might both look right into a left area improve or depend on a few of their youthful choices even when they ship the previous Purple elsewhere.
In trade for Lewis, they convey in a participant with a bit extra defensive flexibility. Hummel, 28 subsequent month, was first drafted by the Brewers in 2016. Arizona acquired him on the 2021 commerce deadline in a deal that despatched veteran infielder Eduardo Escobar to Milwaukee. The precise-handed hitter was sitting on a .254/.435/.508 line in Triple-A on the time, and the Snakes gave him his first large league likelihood this 12 months.
Hummel scuffled over his first 66 MLB video games, hitting simply .176/.274/.307 with three homers in 201 plate appearances. He struck out in an enormous 31.8% of his plate appearances throughout that point, however he walked at a robust 11.4% clip. Hummel additionally continued to hit nicely with Arizona’s high minor league affiliate, posting a .310/.423/.527 line in 33 video games in Reno. In a bit greater than 500 profession plate appearances on the Triple-A degree, the Oregon native has a .310/.429/.540 line with an unimaginable 16.7% stroll price.
On the defensive facet of the ball, Hummel has cut up his time between catcher and the nook outfield. He bought 14 MLB begins behind the dish and 17 apiece in left area and designated hitter. Prospect evaluators have by no means thought of Hummel a possible on a regular basis catcher, however the M’s don’t want him to be with Cal Raleigh as their franchise backstop. Hummel can think about as an occasional catcher and nook outfield possibility off the bench, and he can nonetheless be optioned to the minor leagues in every of the subsequent two years. He’s a versatile depth piece who has lower than a full 12 months of huge league service. He received’t qualify for arbitration till at the very least after the 2024 season.
Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported the D-Backs and Mariners had been swapping Lewis and Hummel.
Photos courtesy of USA At this time Sports activities.