SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Mariners filled in Tuesday before the trade deadline, hoping their big splash last week and some small moves will prove enough to end baseball’s longest playoff drought.
The Mariners acquired two injured players from the San Francisco Giants in left-hander Matthew Boyd and catcher Curt Casali and also acquired infielder Jake Lamb from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto made a splash last week, acquiring Cincinnati Reds shortstop Luis Castillo to bolster the rotation before picking up some lesser-known names the Mariners hope will contribute down the stretch.
Dipoto said Seattle addressed its top three priorities, even if Tuesday’s moves lacked interest after the addition of Castillo.
“We went out and identified the players that we thought could really push us to a new level,” Dipoto said. “And we prioritized players who would be here after 2022 in any way we could.”
Seattle was 55-49 entering Tuesday’s game at the New York Yankees and held a one-game lead over Cleveland for the final AL wild card.
Part of the math for Dipoto to decide what made sense is what the Mariners expect to return over the next two weeks. Offensively, Dipoto said the expectation is that Julio Rodriguez and Dylan Moore will be ready to return when their stints on the injured list are up and that Mitch Haniger could be back in the lineup soon. Haniger has been out since late April with an ankle injury and is on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma.
Dipoto also said relievers Diego Castillo and Ken Giles should return soon and bolster the bullpen.
“We’re looking forward to getting a pretty big, I guess, influx of talent from IL in addition to the three players we added today, plus Luis Castillo,” Dipoto said.
Boyd signed a $5.2 million contract with San Francisco but sat out the entire season after undergoing surgery last September for a torn flexor tendon. His recovery was interrupted in June after a setback, but he resumed throwing last month and is expected to return sometime later this summer, Dipoto said. He had a 3.89 ERA in 15 starts last year for Detroit before the injury.
Seattle plans to use Boyd as a long reliever when he’s ready to join the club.
Casali is hitting .231 with four homers and a .696 OPS in 41 games this season, but is currently on the injured list with a right oblique strain. He began a minor league rehab assignment last week, but Dipoto had no timetable for his return to the big leagues.
The 33-year-old is highly regarded for his defense and game management. Last season, he became the fifth catcher since at least 1900 to backstop five consecutive shutouts for the Giants. He ended up one short of the record, set by Ed Phelps in 1903.
Casali is expected to back up second-year catcher Cal Raleigh. The 25-year-old is hitting .204 with 14 home runs and a .728 OPS.
“Cal plays regularly, and when I say regularly, he plays every day, in some way or form whether it’s the full game, or he’s going slow and we want to take some of the load off him,” Dipoto said.
Lamb, 31, was primarily a designated hitter for the Dodgers. The left-hander is hitting .239 with two home runs and a .770 OPS in 25 games.
Seattle sent minor league right-hander Michael Stryffeler and catcher Andy Thomas to San Francisco, and Lamb was added in exchange for cash or a player to be named. The Mariners also designated left-hander Tommy Milone and outfielder Jack Larsen for assignment.
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