Rays trade Motter and Shaffer to Mariners, add 8 prospects to roster
UPDATE, 7:43: The Rays added eight prospects to their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft: INF Willy Adames, LHP Jose Alvarado, RHP Chih-Wei Hu, INF Daniel Robertson, RHP Austin Pruitt, RHP Jaime Schultz, RHP Ryne Stanek, RHP Hunter Wood.
DEVELOPING: In working to clear space to add promising young players to their roster, the Rays shipped out two players who they previously had considered prospects, trading INF Richie Shaffer and INF/OF Taylor Motter to the Mariners for three minor-leaguers.
The Rays get back 1B Dalton Kelly and RHPs Andrew Kittredge and Dylan Thompson.
Also, the Rays DFA'd RHP Steve Geltz, who was on the opening day roster in 2016 but struggled to an 0-2, 5.74 mark and was demoted, and released LHP John Lamb, who was acquired earlier this month from the Reds.
Here is info from the Mariners on the three players the Rays acquired:
Kelly, 22, reached base safely in 112 of 130 games with Clinton in 2016, batting .293 (141x481) with 70 runs scored, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 7 home runs, 58 RBI, 11 HBP, 63 walks and 21 stolen bases. He was the one of four LumberKings to be selected to the Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star team, going 1-for-3 with 1 run scored, 1 double and 1 RBI as the starting first baseman. Kelly was selected in the 38th round by the Mariners in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of UC Santa Barbara. In two minor league seasons in the Mariners organization, he batted .281 (162x577) with 93 runs scored, 33 doubles, 8 triples, 7 home runs and 69 RBI in 161 games.
Kittredge, 26, went 3-3 with 7 saves and a 3.50 ERA (28 ER, 72.0 IP) in 37 games/5 starts combined between AA Jackson and AAA Tacoma in 2016. The right-handed reliever limited opponents to a .268 (76x284) average, while walking 19 and striking out 84. The Spokane, WA native, Kittredge attended the University of Washington from 2009-11 and signed with Seattle as a non-drafted free agent on August 21, 2011. In 6 seasons in the minor leagues for the Mariners, Kittredge went 16-12 with 17 saves and a 4.49 ERA (171 ER, 342.2 IP) in 186 games/9 starts.
Thompson, 22, appeared in only 3 games/1 start with Rookie Arizona League Mariners in 2016 due to injuries. He was originally selected by the Mariners in the 4th round of the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Minnesota. In his professional debut in 2015, he with 2-1 with a 2.36 ERA (7 ER, 26.2 IP) in 9 games/5 starts with the Mariners in the Arizona League.
Shaffer, 25, was the Rays first-round pick in the 2012 draft but after an impressive 2015 season in which he moved from Double-A Montgomery to Triple-A Durham, he struggled last year at Durham and in limited opportunity with the Rays. In 51 big-league games over two seasons, Shaffer - who plays first and third - hit .213 with five homers, 10 RBIs and a .720 OPS.
Motter, 27, made it to the major leagues last season after an impressive 2015 season at Durham as well and looked to be a good fit given his abilty to play anywhere in the field but struggled in limited opportunity, hitting .188 with two homers, 9 RBIs and a .590 OPS. He was sent down late in the season and not recalled for what appeared to be attitude and performance issues.
Here is more info from the Rays:
Adames (uh-DAH-mis), 21, spent the 2016 season with Double-A Montgomery and was named to the Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star teams, batting .274/.372/.430 (133-for-486) with 11 home runs and 57 RBI. He ranked among league leaders in games played (132, tied for fourth), runs scored (89, first), doubles (31, third), extra-base hits (48, third), total bases (209, third), walks (74, first), on-base percentage (fourth) and slugging percentage (fifth). Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 2 prospect in the Southern League and the No. 1 prospect in the Rays organization. He was acquired by the Rays from the Detroit Tigers in July 2014.
Alvarado, 21, went 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA (70.2-IP, 24-ER) in 37 relief appearances between Class-A Bowling Green (10 apps) and Class-A Charlotte (27 apps) in 2016. Over parts of five minor league seasons, he is 8-19 with a 3.61 ERA (199.2-IP, 80-ER) in 79 appearances (29 starts). He was signed by the Rays as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2012.
Hu (HOO), 23, went 7-8 with a 2.59 ERA (142.2-IP, 41-ER) in 24 starts for Montgomery in 2016 and made one April spot start for Triple-A Durham. He was named to the Southern League midseason and postseason All-Star teams, leading the league in ERA while ranking third in WHIP (1.15) and fifth in opponents' average (.241). His 2.75 ERA between the two levels ranked fourth among Rays minor leaguers. A native of Taiwan, he pitched for the World Team in the Futures Game at Petco Park in July. Following the season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the Rays organization. He is 23-17 with a 2.74 ERA (364-IP, 111-ER) over parts of four minor league seasons and was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in July 2015.
Pruitt, 27, went 8-11 with a 3.76 ERA (162.2-IP, 68-ER) in 28 starts for Durham in 2016 and won the team's Most Valuable Player honors, ranking among International League leaders in starts (tied for first), innings (fourth), WHIP (1.19, fourth) and strikeouts (149, second). He was an IL midseason All-Star and his 149 strikeouts ranked third among Rays minor leaguers. Following the season, he was tabbed by Baseball America as having the Best Control in the International League. He was selected by the Rays in the ninth round of the 2013 June Draft and is 27-28 with a 3.33 ERA (519.2-IP, 192-ER) over parts of four minor league seasons.
Robertson, 22, hit .259/.358/.356 (113-for-436) with five home runs and 43 RBI in 118 games for Durham in 2016. Following the season, he was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 10 prospect in the Rays organization. Selected by the Oakland Athletics in the first round (34th overall) of the 2012 June Draft, he was acquired by the Rays in January 2015. Across parts of five minor league seasons, he has hit .278/.368/.412 (524-for-1,887) with 38 home runs and 220 RBI.
Stanek (STAN-ik), 25, split the 2016 season between Montgomery and Durham, going 4-10 with a 4.30 ERA (102.2-IP, 49-ER) in 34 appearances (11 starts). He was used exclusively as a reliever for his last 23 appearances, posting a 3.83 ERA (42.1-IP, 18-ER) and .205 opponents' average over that span. Stanek was the Rays Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June and pitched for the U.S. Team in the Futures Game at Petco Park in July. He was selected by the Rays in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 June Draft and is 16-20 with a 3.72 ERA (273.2-IP, 113-ER) in 72 games (41 starts) over parts of three minor league seasons.
Schultz, 25, spent the 2016 season with Durham and went 5-7 with a 3.58 ERA (130.2-IP, 52-ER) in 27 starts, ranking third in the minor leagues (and leading both the International League and Rays system) with 163 strikeouts. His 3.58 ERA ranked seventh in the IL. Schultz has averaged 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings over four minor league seasons, and is 19-15 with a 3.36 ERA (370-IP, 138-ER) in his career. He was selected by the Rays in the 14th round of the 2013 June Draft.
Wood, 23, went 9-5 with a 2.39 ERA (113-IP, 30-ER) in 21 appearances (18 starts) between Charlotte and Montgomery in 2016. He ranked among Rays minor league leaders in ERA (behind only Brent Honeywell) and wins (fifth). Wood twice took home his league's Pitcher of the Week honors, doing so once at each level. He was selected by the Rays in the 29th round of the 2013 June Draft. Over four minor league seasons, he is 18-19 with a 2.76 ERA (352.2-IP, 108-ER).
Kelly, 22, spent the 2016 season with Class-A Clinton and hit .293/.384/.416 (141-for-481) with 30 doubles, seven home runs and 58 RBI. He was selected to the Midwest League midseason All-Star Team and ranked among league leaders in on-base percentage (fifth) and walks (63, fourth). He was selected by the Mariners in the 38th round of the 2015 June Draft.
Kittredge, 26, split the 2016 season between Double-A Jackson and Triple-A Tacoma, going 3-3 with a 3.50 ERA (72-IP, 28-ER) and seven saves in 37 appearances (five starts). He was signed by the Mariners as a non-drafted free agent following the 2011 June Draft and is 16-12 with a 4.49 ERA (342.2-IP, 171-ER) in six minor league seasons with Seattle.
Thompson, 20, has spent the first two seasons of his professional career with the Rookie-level AZL Mariners, going 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA (31.1-IP, 10-ER) in 12 games (six starts). Following the season, he was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 22 prospect in the Mariners organization. He was selected by Seattle in the fourth round of the 2015 June Draft.
Motter, 27, saw his first major league action over two stints with the Rays in 2016 and hit .188 (15-for-80) in 34 games. He appeared at all four spots in the infield and both corner outfield positions. He has hit .272/.349/.428 (538-for-1,981) with 56 home runs and 263 RBI across six minor league seasons.
Shaffer, 25, saw three stints with the Rays in 2016 and has appeared in 51 games at the major league level over the past two seasons, batting .213 (26-for-122) over that span. He has hit .246/.333/.437 (452-for-1,834) with 71 home runs and 283 RBI across five minor league seasons.
Geltz, 29, split the 2016 season between the Rays and Durham, making 27 appearances over four stints in the majors and going 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA (26.2-IP, 17-ER). He is 2-9 with a 4.23 ERA (104.1-IP, 49-ER) in 110 career appearances.
Lamb, 26, was acquired earlier this month from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash considerations. He has made 24 starts over parts of two major league seasons with the Reds, and has a 3.74 ERA (652-IP, 271-ER) in 131 career games (130 starts) in the minor leagues.