The Seattle Mariners were one of the top stories in the American League last year when they earned a spot in the playoff for the first time since the 2001 season. They are making plans to ensure that they don’t have another long playoff dry spell by upgrading for the 2023 season.
They took a major step by trading 2020 Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mariners received outfielder-catcher Cooper Hummel in exchange, per a report from MLB insider Jeff Passan.
Lewis became expendable after Julio Rodriguez asserted himself for the Mariners this year with his speed, power and dynamic skills in center field.
Lewis recorded a .262/.364/.437 slash line with 11 home runs and 28 RBI in in 2020 and won the American League rookie of the year award.
His stats did not reach that level in 2021 or 2022, and he has had multiple surgeries on his right knee. The Mariners brought Lewis up to the big leagues in May after starting the 2022 season with Triple-A Tacoma. He went on the injured list with concussion symptoms and did not get back to the active roster until July.
It did not appear that there was a spot for Kyle Lewis on the Mariners, and that point was hammered home when Seattle acquired outfielder Teoscar Hernandez from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier in the week. Hernandez is a powerful slugger who belted 25 home runs and drove in 77 runs in 2022.
Hummel played in 66 games for the Diamondbacks and had a .176/.274/.307 slash line with 3 home runs and 17 RBI. Hummel appears to fit in as a backup catcher for the Mariners.