With $11 million freed up after all-star second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for a violation of MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the Mariners on Friday took advantage of the savings and imported a pair of additions from the Rays in outfielder Denard Span and righthanded reliever Alex Colome.
Span’s $9 million salary this season was the highest on the Rays’ payroll. His contract also calls for a $12 million mutual option in 2019. Colome is making $5.3 million. Tampa Bay is reportedly sending Seattle $4.75 million to help offset the costs of the two contracts.
Span also gives the Mariners a veteran option in left field with Ben Gamel underperforming this season, and Colome gives Seattle a reliever with closer experience to buttress the bullpen behind Edwin Diaz.
In return, the Rays get a controllable righthander with big league experience in Andrew Moore, as well as righthander Tommy Romero, the Mariners’ No. 26-ranked prospect entering the season and their 15th-round selection in the 2017 draft.
Denard Span, OF
The Mariners are solid in center and right field with Guillermo Heredia and Mitch Haniger, but they have a bit of a hole in left field with the slumping Gamel leading a trio that’s also included Andrew Romine and, recently, John Andreoli. Span gives Seattle another option.
Alex Colome, RHP
Diaz is firmly entrenched in the closer’s role, but Colome’s addition gives the Mariners a pitcher who racked up 84 saves over the last two seasons and could easily slide into the eighth-inning role for a team with an already solid bullpen.
Andrew Moore, RHP
Moore, who will report to Triple-A Durham, gives the Rays a low-cost, major league rotation option under control for several more years. Drafted in the supplemental second round in 2015, Moore made his big league debut last season and made 11 starts with Seattle. The finesse righthander was back in Double-A this year and posted a 5-1, 3.04 mark.
Tommy Romero, RHP
The Mariners’ 2017 15th-round pick out of Eastern Florida State JC gets his outs by commanding an 88-92 mph fastball and primarily coupling it with a mid-70s curveball. He also has a slider and a changeup. With low Class A Clinton this year, Romero was 3-3, 2.45 with 54 strikeouts in 44 innings.