Padres, Mariners Swing Seven-Player Trade
The Padres made three trades in a 24-hour period to acquire closer Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals, slugger Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox and catcher Jason Castro from the Angels to kick off the final weekend before the trade deadline
They still had another one on the way.
The Padres acquired catcher Austin Nola and hard-throwing relievers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla from the Mariners in a seven-player trade Sunday night. The Mariners received outfielder Taylor Trammell, infielder Ty France, righthanded pitcher Andres Muñoz and catcher Luis Torrens in return.
Nola will team with Castro to give the Padres a new catching platoon with Austin Hedges batting .158 and Francisco Mejia on the injured list. The Mariners, meanwhile, add their seventh Top 100 prospect to the organization in Trammell.
Austin Nola, C
The older brother of Phillies ace Aaron Nola, Austin is a late bloomer who spent eight seasons in the minors before making his major league debut last year. He’s hit from the moment he reached the majors, batting .280/.351/.476 with 15 home runs in 108 career games. Nola’s offense drives his game. He is a patient hitter who separates balls and strikes, picks out good pitches to hit and drives the ball hard to his pull-side and up the middle. His 90.2 mph exit velocity this season puts him in the top quarter of the league, and he can hit both fastballs and breaking balls with authority. Nola was originally drafted as a shortstop in 2012 and didn’t begin catching until 2017. He’s a decent framer, but he’s struggled to prevent wild pitches and passed balls and has thrown out only 1 of 15 baserunners this year. Nola becomes the offensive side of a catching duo with the defensively-minded Castro. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2025 season.
Austin Adams, RHP
Adams posted a 3.79 ERA in 29 appearances for the Mariners last season after coming over in a trade from the Nationals, but he tore his ACL in September and has not pitched in a game since. He was back pitching this summer at the alternate training site and is set to return soon. Adams has big stuff with a mid-90s fastball and upper-80s slider and struck out 53 batters in 32 innings last season. He can dominate when he’s on, but he’s also struggled with his control throughout his career (6.4 BB/9 in the majors, 5.8 BB/9 in the minors) and can get himself in trouble even though batters struggle to hit him. Adams will be in the majors as soon as he shows he’s fully healthy and will join a Padres bullpen in need of desperate help. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2024 season.
Dan Altavilla, RHP
Altavilla is another hard-throwing righthanded reliever with iffy control, although he’s been less successful than Adams. He has a 7.71 ERA this year and served up a walkoff home run to Wil Myers just three days ago. Altavilla can bring the fire with a fastball that averages 97 mph and a slider that averages 90 mph. His slider is an effective swing-and-miss pitch when it’s on, but he hasn’t shown the fastball command or general control to be consistently effective. He’s walked 34 batters in 47 innings the last three years. The Padres will see if they can make the tweaks to unlock Altavilla's potential. He is arbitration-eligible after this season.
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Taylor Trammell, OF
Trammell ranked as the Padres No. 4 prospect and No. 78 overall in the BA Top 100. A standout running back in high school, Trammell is a supreme athlete with plus speed and the athleticism to stick in center field. He’s improved both his routes and his arm strength, two previous shortcomings, significantly this season and is now playable in both left and center. Trammell is a disciplined hitter with latent power, but he’s struggled with his swing mechanics and timing in the past. He adjusted his load and posture to get into his legs more with the Padres and has shown rapid improvement at the alternate site camp. If his swing adjustments hold, Trammell has a chance to be an everyday outfielder who hits for power, steals bases and plays solid defense in either left or center field. He finished last season at Double-A and is in position to make his major league debut within the next year.
Andres Munoz, RHP
Muñoz made his major league debut as a 20-year-old last season and delivered a 3.91 ERA with 30 strikeouts in 22 innings, but he succumbed to Tommy John surgery in spring training and will be out until 2021. Muñoz is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers in baseball. His fastball averages 100 mph—yes, averages 100—and has touched 104 mph. His fastball is an electrifying pitch, but he’s still learning to harness it. He’s prone to leaving it over the plate and at other times struggles to keep it in the strike zone. Muñoz has an effective secondary pitch in a tight, hard slider that batters struggle with because they’ve geared up for his fastball. If Muñoz comes back healthy and makes strides with his fastball command, he has closer potential.
Ty France, 3B/1B
A 34th-round pick in 2015, France hit his way to the majors and showed great strides in year two with the Padres, batting .314/.375/.510 in a reserve role. France has hit at every level and projects to hit enough to stick on a major league roster, although most evaluators see him as more of a reserve than an everyday player. He’s a shaky defender at third base and is better suited as a first baseman/DH. He's also played some second base and was the Padres' emergency third catcher this season.
Luis Torrens, C
Torrens stuck on the Padres’ roster as a Rule 5 pick in 2017 and then returned to the minors to develop. He spent most of last season at Double-A Amarillo and was most recently serving as the Padres’ backup catcher after Francisco Mejia got hurt. Torrens is a stout defender behind the plate with excellent hands in receiving, a strong arm and the ability to handle premium stuff. He hit well in the hitter-friendly environments of high Class A Lake Elsinore in 2018 and Double-A Amarillo in 2019, but most evaluators believe his defense will keep him in the majors and his bat will be just enough to work as a backup. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2024 season.