The Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays have swung yet another offseason trade, with the Rays sending infielder/outfielder Richie Shaffer and infielder/outfielder Taylor Motter to Seattle, in exchange for minor league pitchers Dylan Thompson, Andrew Kittredge and minor league first baseman Dalton Kelly. Last offseason, these two teams swung a trade involving pitchers Nate Karns and Danny Farquhar and infielder Brad Miller among others.
Shaffer, 25, split last season between AAA Durham and the Tampa Bay Rays. Shaffer has spent two seasons with the Rays, hitting .213 with 5 home runs and 10 runs batted in during 53 games in a Rays uniform. Shaffer also hit .227 with 11 home runs and 48 runs batted in during 119 games in Durham.
Motter, 27, made his MLB debut this season for the Rays, hitting .188 with 2 home runs and 9 runs batted in, during 33 games with the big club. Motter also hit .229 in 88 games in AAA Durham, along with 13 home runs and 49 runs batted in. Motter was a former 17th round selection of the Rays in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Thompson, 20, was the 4th round selection of the Mariners in the 2015 MLB Draft. Thompson spent last season with the Arizona Fall League Mariners, going 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 3 appearances during an injury plagued, conservative season.
Kittredge, 26, has had a lengthy minor league career with the Mariners organization after they selected him in the 45th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Kittredge didn't make his organizational debut until 2011 and reached AAA Tacoma this season, going 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA in 23 appearances, mostly out of the bullpen.
Kelly, 22, was a 38th round pick of the Mariners in the 2015 MLB Draft. Kelly had a breakout season at Low A Clinton, hitting .293 with 7 home runs and 58 runs batted in over 130 games. Kelly would largely be blocked in Seattle, with the recent acquisition of Dan Vogelbach from Chicago and his large 6'3", 180 pounds frame keeping him from playing other positions on the diamond.
The Mariners now get two flexible pieces for their bench and platoon roles, while the Rays reload on youth and allow for more playing time to their younger infielders like Tim Beckham and Nick Franklin.