The Mariners, looking for starting pitching depth, on Thursday acquired lefthander Dillon Overton—who had been designated for assignment by Oakland—in exchange for catcher Jason Goldstein. It is the 12th trade the Mariners have made since Nov. 1. “Dillon has been successful at every level of the minor leagues,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “He is a young, controllable pitcher with Major League upside who adds to our depth.”
One of the top college arms in the 2013 draft, Overton had Tommy John surgery after the Athletics drafted him. Three years later, his pre-surgery velocity has not returned, but Overton has adapted to his 86-91 mph fastball. He locates his fastball, average changeup and fringe-average curveball well, and he has also added a cutter. Overton tends to pitch away from righthanded batters, and some scouts would like to see him establish his pitches inside the strike zone before working away to entice batters to chase.
Overton is a flyball pitcher who gave up just six homers en route to ranking fifth in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in ERA, but righthanded batters pounded him in his brief major league stint (.422/.455/.800) as he gave up 12 home runs in two stints lasting 24.1 innings. Overton’s big league debut included the worst ERA in 20 or more innings by a big league rookie since 1994. He must adjust and learn to use more of the strike zone to fulfill his ceiling as a back-end starter.
Goldstein was drafted by the Dodgers in the 17th round in 2015, but decided to head back to school to finish his industrial engineering degree. He was drafted by the Mariners in the ninth round in June 2016, signing for $25,000. Scouts who flocked to see Tyler Jay and Cody Sedlock have seen plenty of Goldstein behind the plate. Scouts laud Goldstein for his leadership skills and makeup, as well as his ability to frame pitches. He has an average but accurate arm. On offense, he has a history of controlling the strike zone and has shown sneaky power. Goldstein has the tools to develop into a major league backup. Another factor for the deal is Oakland's Illinois connection. Illini pitching coach Drew Dickinson was drafted by Oakland and spent four years in the organization, and the A's drafted Illini lefthander Kevin Duchene, a former Goldstein batterymate, in the fifth round in 2015.
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