New Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto continued his very busy offseason on Wednesday as the team traded 1st basemen Mark Trumbo and left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser to Baltimore for catcher Steve Clevenger. Trumbo isn’t a very good defensive player, although he can play a variety of different positions including in the outfield or at 1st base. Trumbo is more known for his offensive production as he hit .302 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI’s in his final 74 games for Seattle last season. Baltimore is hoping that he can return to the 30+ home run player that he was a few years ago and then the position that he plays won’t really matter. Baltimore has publicly stated that they want to bring back star 1st basemen Chris Davis in free agency. However, that is unlikely to actually happen, so Trumbo would be a very good replacement at 1st base. Also, C.J. Riefenhauser was acquired by the Orioles in this trade. Riefenhauser was just traded from Tampa Bay to Seattle last month, so it was a brief stint with the Mariners. He had a 5.52 ERA in 17 games with the Rays last season and he spent a lot of the year in Triple-A. Riefenhauser will probably start out next year at Triple-A Norfolk, but he is more of an experiment to see if his stats can possibly improve with the Orioles. Meanwhile, Seattle continues to add to their depth at catcher with the addition of Steve Clevenger. He had very little opportunity at the MLB level as he only played in 30 games, but he did hit .287 with 15 RBI’s. Clevenger will likely be on the Mariners roster in 2016 as he is out of minor league options and he will likely be the backup catcher to newly-signed Chris Iannetta. Clevenger does have 4 years left on his contract, so he definitely isn’t just in the Mariners short-term plans. I would have liked to see the Mariners get a more proven major league player for Trumbo, yet it is too early to predict how well Clevenger will perform in 2016.
Mariners Grade: C+ – Seattle is trying to be more athletic in the outfield which is why they traded Trumbo, but they are getting an unproven MLB player by acquiring Steve Clevenger so this trade is just average for now.
Orioles Grade: B – Baltimore is getting a proven former all-star player and a guy that has proven consistently in his career that he can hit 30 home runs in a season. Also, it doesn’t hurt to experiment by getting a left-handed pitcher like Riefenhauser to see if he can make an impact at the MLB level. Giving up Clevenger doesn’t hurt the Orioles at all since the team has good depth at catcher. The only concern that I have is what position Trumbo will fit in at.