The Mariners will be the only players on the field at T-Mobile Park for the next few days.
With the first two games of their series with the Oakland A’s already postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test in the A’s traveling party, the Mariners learned that MLB has postponed the remaining game of three-game series. MLB released this statement on Tuesday morning:
Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow for the continued testing of Oakland Athletics’ personnel, the scheduled series between the A’s and the host Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park has been postponed, now including the additional postponement of Thursday afternoon’s game. The three-game series will be made up with a September 14th doubleheader in Seattle and with the single game that had been scheduled in Oakland on September 26th now becoming a doubleheader.
There have been no other positive tests among A’s personnel following the initial positive test. A’s personnel who have not been identified as close contacts have been approved to travel back to Oakland today. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates as necessary.
The doubleheader on Monday, Sept. 14, comes on a scheduled off day for both teams and will be two seven-inning games. First pitch is set for 2:10 p.m.
The other doubleheader will take place in Oakland on the Saturday of the final weekend of the 2020 season with two seven-inning games. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Seattle will be the “home” team in the first game.
The Mariners decided to take Tuesday off completely but are expected to work out on Wednesday afternoon and again Thursday. They have not announced whether they will be doing any simulated or intrasquad games to maintain their timing at the plate or keep their pitchers on normal work regimens.
When the Mariners get to work return to workouts on Wednesday, they will have two new players with them. Infielder Ty France and catcher Luis Torrens, who were recently acquired from the Padres on Sunday, were officially added to the active roster on Tuesday afternoon. To make room for them, the Mariners optioned catcher Joe Hudson and infielder Donovan Walton to the alternate training site while outrighting reliver Zac Grotz to alternate training site and removing him from the 40-man roster.
Acquired along with outfielder prospect Taylor Trammell and reliever Andres Munoz, France and Torrens are expected to play significantly in the final month of the season.
France will see time at third base, first base, second base and designated hitter while Torrens will be the primary catcher with Joe Hudson serving as the back-up.
A player to be named later is revealed
The Mariners were able to announce the player to be named later in the trade that sent right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker to the Blue Jays. While it was expected that teams have to wait until after the season to work around MLB’s shortsighted rule of only trading players within teams’ player pools, it appears that teams are now willing to announce the players to be named later if they choose.
Outfielder Alberto Rodriguez, who was rated as the Blue Jays’ No. 17 prospect by FanGraphs and No. 24 prospect by Baseball America, will be headed to the Mariners as compensation for the Blue Jays getting one month and the possible postseason out of Walker before he becomes a free agent.
Rodriguez, who turns 20 on Oct. 6, signed as a 16-year-old non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2017 for $500,000.
Last season, he posted a .301/.364/.422 slash line with 13 doubles, a triple, two homers, 28 RBI, 13 stolen bases, 19 walks and 32 strikeouts in 47 games as an 18-year-old in the Rookie Gulf Coast League. In 2018 in the Dominican Summer League, he had a .254/.350/.368 slash line with nine doubles, a triple, five homers, 34 RBI, 21 stolen bases, 32 walks and 55 strikeouts in 61 games.
Obviously, he’s a projection-type prospect that will need continued development and continued growth on his 5-11, 180-pound frame.
After trading three relievers to the Padres and placing lefty Nestor Cortes Jr. on the 45-day injured list with an elbow impingement, the Mariners added to their bullpen depth by claiming right-hander Walker Lockett off waivers from the Mets and adding him to their 40-man roster. He will likely provide long relief help.
Lockett, 26, was designated for assignment following New York’s game on Aug. 28. He appeared in just two games for the Mets, making one start, pitching eight innings and allowing five runs with two walks and eight strikeouts. His last outing came Friday, when he tossed two scoreless innings with a walk and three strikeouts. He also spent some time on the injured list (July 20-Aug. 10) with a lower back issue.
Last season, Lockett made four starts and five relief appearances for the Mets, posting a 1-1 record with 8.34 ERA in 22 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 16 batters and walked six while giving up six homers.
Graveman returns from IL
After missing the last three weeks of the season and revealing that he had a benign bone tumor in his neck, right-hander Kendall Graveman has been activated from the 10-day injured list.
Outfielder Braden Bishop was optioned back to the alternate training site in Tacoma to make room for Graveman.
How Graveman will be used is yet to be determined, but manager Scott Servais has mentioned a bullpen role instead of returning the starting rotation. The discomfort in his neck has usually come from the later innings in starts when he starts to fatigue. The hope is that pitching in shorter stints will alleviate that issue.