The Mariners and Diamondbacks have swapped younger large leaguers, saying settlement on a one-for-one deal shifting outfielder/DH Kyle Lewis to Arizona. The Mariners convey again catcher/outfielder Cooper Hummel in return.
Lewis is probably the most 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 University product made it to the large leagues late within the 2019 season, and he seemed as if he’d cemented himself as a key piece of the group the next yr.
During the abbreviated 2020 marketing campaign, Lewis appeared in 58 video games and tallied 242 plate appearances. He related on 11 house runs and walked in a unbelievable 14% of his journeys en path to a .262/.364/.437 line. That offensive manufacturing was 27 share factors above the league common, by measure of wRC+, and it earned him the American League Rookie of the Year award.
Few would’ve imagined Lewis would solely spend two extra years in Seattle coming off that season, however he is quickly fallen down the depth chart. That’s much less because of efficiency than an unlucky sequence of accidents in his proper knee, which has confirmed constantly problematic. Lewis started the 2021 marketing campaign on the injured listing, 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 yr.
Lewis opened the 2022 marketing campaign again on the IL. He was reinstated on May 25, nearly a full calendar yr 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 displaying, placing up a .245/.362/.517 line with 12 homers by way of 42 video games there.
There’s an apparent threat for the D-Backs in taking over 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. Yet it is equally simple to see the enchantment for normal supervisor Mike Hazen and his group in rolling the cube on Lewis’ upside. During his lone wholesome season, he confirmed the plain 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 subject as a minor leaguer and early in his large league profession, however he was nearly solely a chosen hitter this previous season. He’s able to factoring into the nook outfield and will maybe nonetheless moonlight up the center if mandatory, however the Diamondbacks aren’t going to depend on him in middle subject a lot — if in any respect. Corbin Carroll, Daulton Warsaw, Jake McCarthy and Alec 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 largely hold Lewis off his ft as a DH.
Adding some right-handed pop was additionally a key offseason goal for Arizona, and Lewis might be a long-term righty energy bat within the desert. He’s nonetheless simply 27 years outdated and has two years and 146 days of main league service time. That qualifies him for early arbitration as a Super Two participant, however MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz initiatives him for only a $1.2MM wage. He’s arbitration eligible by way of 2026, and the early-career accidents have stored Lewis from constructing the form of resume that’d be handsomely rewarded by way of that course of to this point.
Lewis’ departure shall be jarring for Mariners followers, however it seemed more and more seemingly 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 numerous inside choices — Jesse Winker, Jarred Kelenic, Taylor Trammell, Sam Haggerty and Dylan Moore — as left subject potentialities. The M’s have reportedly floated Winker’s identify in commerce talks, however they may both look right into a left subject improve or depend on a few of their youthful choices even when they ship the previous Red elsewhere.
In change 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 the veteran infielder Eduardo Escobar to Milwaukee. The right-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 yr.
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 effectively with Arizona’s prime minor league affiliate, posting a .310/.423/.527 line in 33 video games in Reno. In somewhat 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 break up his time between the catcher and the nook outfield. He obtained 14 MLB begins behind the dish and 17 apiece in left subject and designated hitter. Prospect evaluators have by no means thought-about Hummel a probable on a regular basis catcher, however the M’s do not want him to be with Cal Raleigh as their franchise backstop. Hummel can consider as an occasional catcher and nook outfield choice 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 yr of massive league service. He will not qualify for arbitration till at the very least after the 2024 season.
Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported the D-Backs and Mariners have been swapping Lewis and Hummel.
Images courtesy of USA Today Sports.