Phillies, Mariners Change Directions

The Phillies and Mariners officially have changed directions. In the weeks leading up to the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers, Philadelphia was dealing veterans for prospects (see Bobby Abreu and Rheal Cormier) while Seattle was doing the opposite (see Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez).

But the fortunes of both clubs since have reversed. The Phillies have charged back into the National League wild-card race, while the Mariners have fallen hopelessly out of contention in the American League West. So on Saturday, the teams made a trade reflecting their new status. Philadelphia obtained Jamie Moyer from Seattle in exchange for Class A pitching prospects Andrew Baldwin and Andrew Barb. The Mariners also contributed cash toward the remainder of Moyer’s $5.5 million salary for 2006.

Moyer, a 43-year-old lefthander, is the winningest pitcher in Seattle history with 145 victories and will replace rookie Scott Mathieson in the Philadelphia rotation. He continues to succeed with finesse, going 6-12, 4.39 in 25 starts. His record reflects his run support: 3.52 per nine innings, the second-worst figure in baseball this year. In 160 innings, he has an 82-44 K-BB ratio, .285 opponent average and 25 homers allowed. Moyer relies on movement and location, as his low-80s fastball, cutter, slider and changeup won’t overpower anyone. As a condition of the trade, he and the Phillies agreed on a mutual option for 2007, the details of which weren’t disclosed. He has a lifetime record of 211-164 in 563 games. 

Baldwin, a 23-year-old righthander, was a fifth-round pick out of Oregon State in 2004. The nephew of John Hiller, who once held the major league single-season save record, he has gone 8-8, 4.04 at high Class A Clearwater this season. Baldwin has a 100-22 K-BB ratio in 147 innings, while opponents have hit .285 with 11 homers against him. He’s inconsistent, but when he’s at his best he’ll show a low-90s fastball and a quality slider.

Barb, 21, signed as a draft-and-follow out of Kirkwood (Iowa) CC in 2004 after being selected in the 40th round out of a Washington high school the previous June. Primarily a catcher as an amateur, he became a full-time pitcher after turning pro. Barb has smoothed out his delivery and now consistently throws in the low 90s. He’s still working on his command, control and secondary pitches. In 38 games at low Class A Lakewood, he has gone 6-2, 2.23 with 18 saves. He has a 71-28 K-BB ratio, .166 opponents average and no homers allowed in 61 innings.

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