The Mariners and Rays have hooked up for yet another trade.
The Mariners acquired righthander Ryan Garton and catcher Mike Marjama from the Rays on Sunday in exchange for lefthander Anthony Misiewicz, infielder Luis Rengifo and a player to be named later.
It is the fifth trade between the teams in the past nine months and the second in nine days, following the Erasmo Ramirez-Steve Cishek deal.
It was also the second trade of the day for the Mariners after they acquired Yonder Alonso from the Athletics.
Garton spent plenty of time on the Durham-Tampa shuttle this year, with three different callups only to be sent back down to Triple-A. Garton is a ground-ball specialist who primarily relies on a 93-95 mph fastball and 88-91 mph mph cutter. Both generate ground balls and have resulted a 1.35-to-1 groundout-to-airout ratio for Garton in the minors this season. While not overpowering, Garton gives the Mariners another ML-ready middle relief option to use down the stretch. Probably most importantly, he has options remaining, giving the Mariners the flexibility to bring him up and send him back to Triple-A as needed.
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Marjama is in his seventh year in the minors, but evaluators coming through Durham this year have consistently written him up as a big-league caliber backup. Marjama crushes fastballs at all velocities and doesn’t miss them, with massive pull power when he gets ahold of one. His weakness, however, is he is prone to swinging through sliders. Defensively Marjama blocks well, has an above-average arm that has thrown at 37 percent of runners this season, and has improved his hands to be an adequate receiver. He will replace Tuffy Gosewich, who was designated for assignment after the deal, as the de facto third catcher on the Mariners depth chart behind Mike Zunino and Carlos Ruiz.
The Mariners drafted Misiewicz in the 18th round in 2015 out of Michigan State and steadily moved him up the ladder. Misiewicz’s success is derived much more from pitchability than stuff. He sits just 88-92 mph with his fastball and has a 79-82 mph breaking ball that morphs between a slider and curve at different times. He also has a low 80s changeup. Misiewicz’s fastball plays straight and his breaking ball is easy to pick up out of his hand. As such, he generates very few swings and misses and is prone to giving up the longball. He relies on hitting his spots, changing eye levels and keeping hitters guessing, but has very little margin for error.
The Mariners signed Rengifo as part of their 2013 international class as a switch-hitting middle infielder with speed. The Venezuelan made his full-season debut this year at low Class A Clinton and has seen an unexpected power spike, with 24 doubles and 11 home runs to go with 29 stolen bases. Rengifo still puts the ball on the ground more frequently than he puts it in the air, but his power increase is encouraging. He is athletic but error-prone at shortstop and began playing left and right field for the first time this season to go with second base, third base and shortstop.