Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Seattle has completed a six-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays. Seattle has acquired right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, left-handed pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser and minor league outfielder Boog Powell in exchange for first baseman Logan Morrison, infielder/outfielder Brad Miller and right-handed pitcher Danny Farquhar.
“As I said when I was hired, we need to get more flexible, more athletic and build pitching depth,” Dipoto said. “This trade allows us to do all three. Powell brings speed, defense on on-base percentage to the table and could be ready to help us as soon as 2016, while Karns and Riefenhauser give us young, but experienced, pitching options”.
Karns, who turns 28 on Nov. 25, went 7-5 with a 3.67 ERA (60 ER, 147.0 IP) in 27 games, 26 starts with Tampa Bay in 2015. He limited opponents to a .239 (132×553) average, while walking 56 and striking out 145. Karns led all American League rookies in innings pitched (147.0 IP), strikeouts (145) and game starts (26), while his 7 wins were tied for 5th-most. Among A.L. rookies with at least 100.0 innings pitched, he ranked 3rd in ERA and 2nd in opponent batting average (.239).
Karns was originally selected by Washington in the 12th round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University. He made his Major League debut with the Nationals on May 28, 2013 vs. Baltimore, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits over 4.1 innings, but did not factor into the team’s 9-3 win. Karns was acquired by the Rays from the Nationals in exchange for C Jose Lobaton, LHP Felipe Rivero and OF Drew Vettleson on February 13, 2014. In parts of three Major League seasons, Karns is 8-7 with a 4.00 ERA (76 ER, 171.0) in 32 games, 31 starts with Washington (2013) and Tampa Bay (2014-15).
Riefenhauser, 25, made 17 appearances over four separate stints with the Rays in 2015, combining for a 1-0, 5.52 mark, all in relief. In his final 11 appearances (Sept. 1-end of season) he posted a 2.16 ERA (2 ER, 8.1 IP), closing the season with a career-high 7 consecutive scoreless appearances. Overall, he was with Tampa Bay April 17-May 28 (including a stint on the 15-day DL April 23-May 28 with left shoulder inflammation), June 12-17, July 1-4 and September 1 – end of season. He appeared in 29 games (all in relief) with AAA Durham, posting a 4-2, 2.86 mark with 1 save (11 ER, 34.2 IP).
Riefenhauser was originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 20th round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He made his Major League debut with the Rays on April 19, 2014 vs. the Yankees, retiring all four batters faced. Overall in two seasons with Tampa, he was 1-0 with a 6.30 ERA (14 ER, 20.0 IP) in 24 relief appearances. Riefenhauser went 30-23 with a 2.77 ERA (138 ER, 448.0 IP) in 191 games, 42 starts over 6 seasons in the minor leagues.
Powell, 22, hit .295 (131×444) with 66 runs scored, 16 doubles, 9 triples, 3 home runs, 40 RBI, 61 walks, 18 stolen bases and a .385 on-base percentage combined between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in 2015. Powell began the season with Montgomery and was named to the 2015 Southern League All-Star team. Overall with the Biscuits, he hit .328 (78×238) with 44 runs scored, 6 doubles, 6 triples, 1 home run, 22 RBI, 29 walks, 11 stolen bases and a .408 on-base percentage in 61 games. At the time of his promotion to Durham on June 26, Powell ranked among the Southern League leaders in average (3rd, .328), hits (3rd, 78), runs scored, (T3rd, 44) and on-base percentage (4th, .408). Over 56 games with Durham, Powell hit .257 (53×206) with 22 run scored, 10 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 18 RBI.
Powell was originally selected by Oakland in the 20th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Orange Coast College. He was traded from the Athletics along with C John Jaso, INF Daniel Roberson and cash considerations to Tampa Bay in in exchange for SS Yunel Escobar and INF/OF Ben Zobrist on January 10, 2015. Over four seasons in the minor leagues, he batted .308 (333×1082) with 170 runs scored, 34 doubles, 17 triples, 6 home runs, 95 RBI, 163 walks and 53 stolen bases in 294 games. In his career has a .401 on-base percentage, including a .451 on-base percentage in 2014 that was 2nd-best in the minor leagues.
Farquhar, 28, was 1-8, 5.12 ERA (29 ER, 51.0 IP) with 1 save in 43 games over five separate stints with Seattle in 2015. In his three-year (2013-2105) career with Seattle, Farquhar was 4-12, 3.85 ERA (76 ER, 177.2 IP) with 18 saves in 155 games. He has also appeared in the Majors with Toronto (2011), and has a career MLB mark of 4-12, 3.96 ERA (79 ER, 179.2 IP) with 18 saves in 158 games.
Miller, 26, hit .258 (113×438) with 44 runs, 22 doubles, 4 triples, 11 home runs and 46 RBI in 144 games in 2015. He appeared in games at shortstop, center field, left field, right field, second base and third base. Originally a second round pick by the Mariners in the 2011 draft, Miller appeared in 343 games with Seattle over the past three (2013-2015) seasons, batting a combined .248 (275×1111) with 48 doubles, 14 triples, 29 home runs and 118 RBI.
Morrison, 28, hit .225 (103×457) with 47 runs, 15 doubles, 3 triples, 17 home runs and 54 RBI in 146 games this season, appearing in 140 games (115 starts) at first base, 3 games (1 start) in right field & 1 start in left field. In two seasons with Seattle, he hit .241 (191×793) with 88 runs, 35 doubles, 3 triples, 28 home runs and 92 RBI in 245 games. In six Major League seasons with Miami (2010-13) & Seattle (2014-15), he has hit .246 (513×2088) with 247 runs, 108 doubles, 19 triples, 70 home runs and 254 RBI in 608 games.