Mariners make a minor trade to pick up outfielder Ben Gamel from the Yankees in exchange for two young pitching prospects.
ARLINGTON, Tex. — Looking to add some depth to an outfield lacking in athleticism and club control, the Mariners completed a minor trade on Wednesday afternoon, acquiring left-handed hitting outfielder Ben Gamel from the Yankees in exchange for pitchers Juan De Paula and Jio Orozco, who were both pitching for the Arizona League Mariners – a rookie level of the minor leagues.
Gamel, 24, was hitting .308 (149-for-483) with 26 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 51 RBI and 19 stolen bases in 116 games with Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. On Tuesday, he was chosen as the International League’s most valuable player. He ranked first in runs scored(80), third in hits (149), fifth in stolen bases (19), sixth in batting (.308) and ninth in total bases (203). He will join the Mariners on Friday with the September roster expansion.
“He’s a good baseball player,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said of Gamel. “He’s has a 1,000 plate appearances at Triple A. He’s hit both years he’s been there. He just won MVP and he was rookie of the year last year in that league. He’s done what he can do at Triple A and now he deserves an opportunity. He does a lot of things well. ”
Gamel’s versatility of being able to play all three outfield spots, a career on-base percentage of .345 in the minors and minor league options available make him attractive to Seattle. He made his MLB debut in May and had one hit in eight at-bats.
“He’s optionable, he’s young and he’s athletic, three of things we are looking for,” Dipoto said. “He’s a polished minor league minor league player who’s ready to cut his teeth in the big leagues.”
De Paula, 18, was 1-2 with a 3.07 ERA with 53 strikeouts in seven starts and four relief appearances with the AZL Mariners this season. In two seasons in the organization, he posted 6-6 record with a 2.58 ERA. He had 121 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings pitched.
Orozco, 19, was 2-2 with a 4.07 ERA in five starts and seven relief appearances. He had a 5-3 record with a 3.73 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched in two seasons in the organization. He was 14th round draft pick in the 2015 draft.
“They were longterm projection type of guys,” Dipoto said.”They’ve shown power type stuff at times. Obviously it’s the consistency that needs to come to get through the long development process. We’ll see where they go.”