The Mariners added to their starting pitching depth in the organization, acquiring Chase De Jong from the Dodgers for two minor league prospects -- Drew Jackson and Aneurys Zabala
PEORIA, Ariz. — General manager Jerry Dipoto reached a minor milestone on Wednesday, completing his 40th trade since taking over as general manager at the end of the 2015 season.
The Mariners acquired right-handed pitching prospect Chase De Jong from the Dodgers in exchange for a pair of young prospects — infielder Drew Jackson and right-handed pitcher Aneurys Zabala. To make room for De Jong on the 40-man roster, infielder Mike Freeman, who was scratched from the starting lineup before Wednesday game in Goodyear, was designated for assignment.
De Jong, 23, posted 15-5 record and 2.82 ERA in 26 starts combined with Class AA Tulsa (14-5, 2.86 in 25 games started) and Class AAA Oklahoma City (1-0, 1.69 in one start) this past season. De Jong struck out a combined 133 batters in 147.0 innings pitched, while walking only 40. He was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year and was also selected as an overall “Double A All-Star” by Baseball America. He projects to be a starter at Class AAA Tacoma this season.
“Chase is a very polished young pitcher coming off a very solid season at Double A,” Dipoto said. “We see him as a guy knocking at the door as a Major League starting pitcher.”
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De Jong was a second-round selection in the 2012 draft out of Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. He was traded to the Dodgers in July of 2015 for international slot money. He’s appeared in 93 games (81 starts) in five minor league seasons, posting a 30-21 record and 3.43 ERA.
The Mariners give up a decent prospect in Jackson. After dominating the NorthWest League in 2015, earning MVP honors , Jackson regressed slightly at Class A Bakersfield, hitting .258 (135-for-524) with 87 runs scored, 24 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 47 RBI, 50 walks, 10 HBP and 16 stolen bases in 124 games in his first full season in the minor leagues. Jackson was invited to the Arizona Fall League, where he struggled, hitting .149 in 17 games. But he was also working on some significant swing changes. Baseball America still rated him as the No. 7 prospect in the organization going into this season.
Zabala is a hard-throwing 20-year-old that went 1-5 with a save and a 2.88 ERA in 16 relief appearances in the Arizona Rookie League. He had 28 strikeouts and 15 walks in 25 innings pitched.