Their season in a shambles, the Mariners continued their sell-off Friday, sending RHP Mark Lowe to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for career minor league pitcher Rob Rasmussen and a pair of rookie-level throwers, LHP Nick Wells and LHP Jake Brentz. Rasmussen will be added to the 40-man roster.
Lowe’s trade comes a day after Seattle sent veteran outfielder Dustin Ackley, batting .215, to the New York Yankees for a trio of minor leaguers. With the trades of Lowe and Ackley for minor leaguers, the Mariners, now 12 games out of first in the AL West, have pulled the plug on the 2015 season.
Lowe, 32, went 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 34 games. His 1.00 ERA is the second-best in the majors among relievers behind Kansas City’s Wade Davis (0.41).
Lowe signed with Seattle as a minor league free agent Dec. 19 and began the season in AAA Tacoma where he went 0-1 with a 1.00 ERA in seven relief appearances. In parts of 10 seasons with Seattle, Texas, Los Angeles (AL) and Cleveland, he is 8-22 with a 3.80 ERA with 289 strikeouts. He was selected by Seattle in the fifth round of the 2004 amateur draft.
Rasmussen, 26, appeared in one game with Toronto earlier this year. With AAA Buffalo of the International League, he was 4-1 with one save and a 2.36 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 34 games In 12.1 MLB innings over the last two seasons, he has a 2.92 ERA with 14 strikeouts.
The Florida Marlins drafted Rasmussen in the second round in 2010. During his minor league career, he was 28-34 with a 3.72 ERA with 438 strikeouts in 157 games, including 78 starts over six minor league seasons in the Miami, Houston, Los Angeles (NL) and Toronto organizations.
The 19-year-old Wells went 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA with 31 strikeouts in seven starts for rookie-level Bluefield in the Appalachian League this season. He was drafted by Toronto in the third round in 2014.
Brentz, 20, went 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in six starts for Bluefield. He was drafted by Toronto in the 11th round in 2013. In three minor league seasons, he is 1-4 with a 4.80 ERA.
The Mariners have not yet determined which minor league affiliates the new acquisitions will join.
Seattle continues its four-game road trip in Minnesota Friday with a 5:10 p.m. first pitch. RHP Taijuan Walker (7-7, 5.03) will throw against LHP Tommy Milone (5-2, 3.58).