On Thursday the Mariners signed left-handed relief specialist Zach Rosscup to a one-year contract. Rosscup has been injured most of the last year two years.
The Mariners had only lefty in the bullpen in Roenis Elias, and he is considered more of a long reliever. Elias could be the fifth starter in the rotation as well. GM Jerry Dipoto was looking to pick up a lefty specialist. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mariners will keep looking for another lefty with more success. Signing Rosscup to a one-year contract isn’t a big risk if things don’t work out with him.
The Mariners announced just minutes ago they had traded outfielder Ben Gamel along with a minor league pitcher to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Domingo Santana. This should be good for Gamel who had become the Mariners fourth outfielder with the trades the Mariners had made over the off-season. Jay Bruce another left-handed hitter was considered the starter in left field so Gamel wouldn’t have played a lot except an occasional start or pinch hitting.
Santana now can be used platooning with Bruce in left field. He is listed as a right fielder so he could play there as well moving Mitch Haniger to center field to give center fielder Mallix Smith a day off. Santana had off-year in 2018 hitting .265 in 85 games. He had a .328 on-base percentage. In 2017 he had an outstanding season hitting 30 home runs along with 85 runs batted in. He is only 26 years so he will be under team control for two more years so it isn’t a high-risk situation for the Mariners.
Going to Milwaukee Brewers will be a good thing for Gamel. The Brewers were stacked with right-handed hitting outfielders so picking up Gamel will give him more playing time. Not only will he have a chance to possibly platoon with Milwaukee he can be used as a left-handed hitting pinch hitter.
Being stacked with right-handed hitting outfielders is the reason the Brewers were willing to trade Santana to the Mariners. Dipoto is hoping Santana can rebound from the poor 2018 season he had. Even if he doesn’t hit 30 home runs next season if he can get around 15 home runs batting around .270 in a platoon situation than be a successful trade for the Mariners.
Ben Gamel was popular in Seattle even though he played part-time for the Mariners. I know we will miss seeing him but with the Mariners making all these changes to the roster, not a big surprise either. We wish Gamel the very best in Milwaukee.