Jays, Mariners Swap Hard-Throwing Brandons, League For Morrow




The Deal
The Blue Jays and Mariners exchanged hard-throwing righthanders, and when the smoke cleared, Brandon Morrow had landed in Toronto and Brandon League in Seattle. Toronto kicked in a prospect to even out the difference in experience levels.

The prospect headed to Seattle is believed to be young Venezuelan outfielder Johermyn Chavez.

Morrow and League both averaged 95 mph when throwing fastballs in 2009, according to Pitch f/x data, the key difference being that the former tended to induce flyballs while the latter often saw his heavy sinker beat into the ground. Neither pitcher has found a consistent breaking ball, and both could benefit by throwing more strikes.

With the trades of Jeff Clement ('05), Morrow ('06) and Phillippe Aumont ('07), the Mariners now have traded every eligible first-round selection made by previous general manager Bill Bavasi and scouting director Bob Fontaine. Only one remains: '08 first-round righthander Josh Fields, who cannot be traded until Feb. 16, the one-year anniversary of his signing date.

 
Mariners Acquire
Johermyn Chavez, rf
Age: 20. Position: RF (110 G), LF (23 G).
Born: Jan. 26, 1989 in Turmero, Venezuela.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 220. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Blue Jays, July 14, 2005.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Lansing (MWL) LoA .283 134 508 87 144 22 6 21 89 40 137 10 .346 .474

Though he didn't progress as the Blue Jays would have hoped after signing in 2005, Chavez had a breakout year in his second stint at low Class A Lansing. He increased his OPS by 225 points from 2008 and started to tap into his potential. Extensive work in the cages translated to him looking more comfortable at the plate. He's already maxed out physically and 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. While he hit 21 home runs in a pitcher-friendly environment, he still needs to develop a more consistent approach—he struck out 137 times. His arm is well suited for right field but his fringy range and defensive instincts will probably relegate him to the other outfield corner.
 
Brandon League, rhp
Age: 26. Remaining Commitment: 2 arbitration-eligible years remain prior to free agency ($640,000 in '09).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Toronto (AL) 2007 0 0 6.17 14 0 0 12 19 8 8 1 7 7 2.23
Toronto (AL) 2008 1 2 2.18 31 0 1 33 28 9 8 2 15 23 1.30
Toronto (AL) 2009 3 6 4.58 67 0 0 75 72 40 38 8 21 76 1.25
3-Year Totals 4 8 4.07 112 0 1 119 119 57 54 11 43 106 1.36
 
Blue Jays Acquire
Brandon Morrow, rhp
Age: 25. Remaining Commitment: 3 arbitration-eligible years remain prior to free agency ($425,000 in '09).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Seattle (AL) 2007 3 4 4.12 60 0 0 63 56 29 29 3 50 66 1.67
Seattle (AL) 2008 3 4 3.34 45 5 10 65 40 26 24 10 34 75 1.14
Seattle (AL) 2009 2 4 4.39 26 10 6 70 66 38 34 10 44 63 1.58
3-Year Totals 8 12 3.96 131 15 16 198 162 93 87 23 128 204 1.47

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