MLB Weekly Digest December 17th Edition

Image Credit: Sporting News

The previous week in MLB was about a team in the American League who continues to make trades, a reliever inks a multi-year deal, a veteran outfielder signs a contract and an AL team add a quality starting pitcher.

Seattle Mariners Acquire Edwin Encarnacion in Three-Team Deal

The Seattle Mariners have been a busy team this offseason, and they were part of another significant trade a couple of days ago with the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays.

The Mariners sent first baseman Carlos Santana to the Indians and acquired designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion.

The Mariners also receive cash considerations from the Rays, and a competitive balance draft pick from the Indians.

The Rays received infielder Yandy Diaz and pitcher Cole Sulser from the Indians in exchange for first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers.

The Indians signed Encarnacion to a three-year, $60 million contract two years ago. He has a $20 million team option or a $5 million buyout for 2020.

Encarnacion was a solid hitter for the Indians last season as indicated by his .246 batting average and .810 OPS in 137 games with 32 home runs and 107 RBIs.

The DH crushed 30-plus homers and tallied 100-plus RBIs for the third consecutive season.

Seattle recently acquired Santana from the Philadelphia Phillies and traded him back to the club in which he spent the first eight seasons of his career.

Santana struggled in his first season with the Phillies as he posted a slim .229 average but had 24 home runs and 86 RBIs.

The Rays sent Bauers to the Indians, who had a promising rookie campaign with them last year, by accumulating a .700 OPS with 11 homers in 96 games.

However, they received someone in Diaz who can play multiple positions and was a good hitter. He compiled a .312 average and .797 OPS with 15 RBIs in 39 games last year.

Sulser, a right-handed pitcher, posted a 3.86 ERA across two minor league levels last year in 60 2/3 innings pitched with 95 strikeouts and 17 walks issued.

The deal was interesting for all three teams involved.

The Indians received financial flexibility and young talent; The Rays add a pair of players who could help them next year and the Mariners add a proven slugger.

The other intriguing aspect of this deal was Mariners’ general manager Jerry Dipoto completed the deal from the hospital, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.

Dipoto was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital after developing blood clots in his lungs, per Jim Bowden of The Athletic.

Los Angeles Dodgers Sign Reliever Joe Kelly to Three-Year Deal

The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed reliever Joe Kelly to a three-year deal worth $25 million, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Kelly was decent for the Boston Red Sox last season as he compiled a 4.39 ERA in 65 2/3 innings (73 games) with 68 strikeouts, four home runs yielded, 32 walks surrendered, a 3.57 FIP and a 1.35 WHIP.

However, the right-hander was unhittable during the World Series, by tossing six scoreless innings and striking out 10 batters.

Kelly proved in the Fall Classic he can be a reliable pitcher coming out of the bullpen.

The Dodgers have added a quality arm in their bullpen, while the Red Sox will have to find someone to replace Kelly.

Philadelphia Phillies Ink Outfielder Andrew McCutchen to Three-Year Contract

The Philadelphia Phillies have signed a free-agent outfielder to a contract, but it’s not who you think. Outfielder Andrew McCutchen signed a three-year deal with a club option for a fourth year.

The deal is worth $50 million, per Jon Heyman of Fancred.

McCutchen posted a .255 batting average and .792 OPS with 30 doubles, 14 stolen bases, 20 home runs and 65 RBIs split between the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees in 2018.

McCutchen is a solid veteran hitter and a nice addition for a young Phillies team who is expected to make more significant moves as the offseason progresses.

The signing of McCutchen doesn’t eliminate the Phillies from signing outfielder Bryce Harper to a lucrative multi-year contract.

Tampa Bay Rays Sign Starting Pitcher Charlie Morton to Two-Year Deal

The Tampa Bay Rays have signed starting pitcher Charlie Morton to a two-year, $30 million deal, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

The deal also includes a third-year option that could be worth about $1 million if he misses time over the first two years due to injury and could be as high as $15 million if he stays healthy, per Passan.

Morton was stellar last season for the Houston Astros as he posted a 3.13 ERA in 167 innings pitched (30 starts) with 201 strikeouts, 64 walks issued, 18 home runs yielded, a 129 ERA+, a 3.59 FIP and a 1.16 WHIP.

The Rays’ contract for Morton is significant as they normally don’t spend money on free agents.

The addition of Morton is a smart move by the team as they won 90 games last season with only American League Cy Young winner Blake Snell being their only true starting pitcher.

Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a 25-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter [email protected]
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