BY SPNW Staff 03:56PM 11/16/2015

Mariners swap Wilhelmsen, get Leonys Martin

The Mariners sent closer Tom Wilhelmsen, James Jones and a PTBNL to the Texas Rangers in exchange for OF Leonys Martin and reliever Anthony Bass.

The Mariners acquired CF Leonys Martin from Texas Monday.

The Mariners Monday acquired OF Leonys Martin and RHP Anthony Bass from the Texas Rangers in exchange for RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, OF James Jones and a player to be named later. The 27-year-old Martin hit .219 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in limited time last season and Bass went 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in 33 relief appearances.

“The addition of Martin gives us a premier defensive center fielder,” said GM Jerry Dipoto. “His athleticism and speed will be strong additions to our lineup as we continue to mold the roster. Bass will give our club added flexibility and depth in our bullpen.”

Martin, 27, had his season interrupted when he suffered a hamate fracture in his right hand Aug. 13 while playing for AAA Round Rock. He underwent surgery Aug. 26 to remove the hamate bone. Martin was activated from the minor league disabled list and recalled to Texas Sept. 20, appearing in one game the remainder of the season.

Over the last three seasons, Martin ranks fourth among MLB center fielders in defensive runs saved (44) behind the Mets’ Juan Lagares (56), Lorenzo Cain (49) of the Royals and Carlos Gomez (46) of the Astros.

In his previous two full seasons (2013-14), Martin combined to hit .268 with 134 runs, 34 doubles, 13 triples, 15 home runs, 89 RBIs and 67 stolen bases in 302 games. His 81 stolen bases over the last three seasons (2013-2015) rank sixth in the American League.

During his career, Martin appeared at all three outfield positions, playing center field (393 G, 333 GS), right field (21 G, 11 GS) and left field (10 G, 6 GS).

Martin defected from Cuba in late summer of 2010 and established residency in Mexico before signing with the Texas organization. During his career in Cuba, he played five seasons with Villa Clara in the Cuban League, where he hit .314 with 38 home runs.

Bass, 28, last year limited opponents to a .269 batting average while walking 20 and striking out 45. Bass signed with the Texas as a minor league free agent Dec. 11, 2014 and made the Rangers Opening Day roster after being selected by the team April 5.

Bass was selected by San Diego in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of Wayne State University and made his debut with the Padres in 2011. He was traded from the Padres to Houston for a player to be named later (Patrick Schuster) Dec. 11, 2013 and spen the 2014 season with the Astros.

Over five seasons in the majors with San Diego (2011-13), Houston (2014) and Texas (2015), Bass has a 5-9 record with a 4.50 ERA in 129 games, including 18 starts.

Jones, 27, appeared in 28 games in center field the past season, hitting .103. He hit .272 in 72 games with AAA Tacoma. Jones played seven seasons in the organization after being selected in the fourth round of the 2009 draft out of Long Island University.

Wilhelmsen, 31, went 2-2 and was 13-for-15 in save opportunities. In five seasons with the Mariners, he went 11-10 with 67 saves and a 2.97 ERA in 267 games, including two starts.

Wilhelmsen signed with the Mariners as a minor league free agent before the 2010 season. In addition to his 67 saves, Wilhelmsen closed out a six-pitcher, 1-0 no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers June 8, 2012.


  • Tman

    This trade is going to help get the Mariners above the 6800 paid and 1200 non paid spectators at Safeco. Two free hot dogs might lure some fans. Free parking is too much to ask.

  • jafabian

    I’m wondering if some of the trades Dipoto has done is more to get rid of malcontents than to improve. I’m assuming with trading Wilhelmsen that Dipoto has a closer on his radar.

    • SeaRaays

      The Bartender has pitched a lot of innings. He is a good piece …but a lot innings sometimes translate in a down year. Losing his job due to injury and understanding he can get traded to make his playing time more..thus future contract better..maybe this is problem in Texas for Leon.

      • jafabian

        Dipoto might be planning on trading for the Red’s closer who are actively shopping him. Chapman would be a one and done player but his 100 mph fastball would be a quick fix for the bullpen.

        • Rj Smith

          Seriously?! The M’s don’t have anywhere near the prospects and/or MLB players to acquire Chapman…… only Walker qualifies & he isn’t going anywhere.

  • notaboomer

    up the middle defense is underrated. i say 2 thumbs up.

    • Jeff Shope

      doesn’t matter how good the D is when you can’t hit for crap

      • SeaRaays

        He broke his wrist..had a hard time holding bat. He should hit .250 avg. Also very fast on base paths. At least 30 stolen bases a year. Texas has to many OF and also stacked CF. For price and the fact he saves runs in a giant outfield…good deal.

  • notaboomer

    cheaper version of austin jackson. jackson is fa now. martin not until 2019. dexter fowler free agent now and made $2m more than jackson last year so clearly unaffordable. this should keep beer prices at $9.50 for next season. what a relief for fans.

  • notaboomer

    could have gone for ichiro.

  • Jeff Shope

    a .219 hitter now that a stat geek move right there