With Felix Hernandez and Wade Miley on the disabled list and Taijuan Walker battling some foot issues of his own, the Seattle Mariners added more starting pitching depth this afternoon, sending Triple-A shortstop Chris Taylor to the Dodgers in a trade for right-hander Zach Lee.
Seattle was in need of pitching depth and the Dodgers were in need of middle infield help, so the classic change-of-scenery trade scenario came to make sense between the two clubs. Lee, a 1st round pick in 2010 and former top prospect for Los Angeles who was included in multiple Top-100 prospect lists over the years, is now 24 and owns an ERA north of 5 in 60 career Triple-A starts. Taylor, 25, has hit .313/.392/.460 in Triple-A for the Mariners, but he's struggled at the big league level for the club and was passed over by Ketel Marte towards the end of 2015 and Luis Sardinas also seemingly had moved ahead of him.
Lee will head to Tacoma, meaning he'll continue (at least for the time being) pitching in the PCL. He's thrown 73 2/3 innings there so far in 2016, allowing 95 hits, 11 home runs, a .315 oAVG and has a 4.89 ERA to show for it. That said, he's given up three earned runs or less in nine of his 13 starts this season. He is a ground ball pitcher that works primarily fastball, slider (some say cutter), changeup but also has a curve. Lee has above-average control and command with an easy delivery and very good athleticism (was a tough sign for the Dodgers because of his LSU football ties). The fastball can get up to the mid-90s, but he more typically works 90-92 these days, sinking it down and in to right-handed hitters.
The M's definitely needed the starting pitching depth, and Taylor had clearly fallen out of favor with the old front office and never seemed to endure himself to the new front office. Best of luck to Chris with the Dodgers, and hopefully we'll be seeing some of that yet-to-be-fulfilled promise out of Zach with the M's.
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