BY SPNW Staff 10:50PM 12/01/2015

Mariners swap Trumbo for backup catcher

Mark Trumbo and his likely $9 million salary, plus a player to be chosen, were sent to Baltimore for C/1B Steve Clevenger, who will back up Chris Iannetta behind the plate.

Mark Trumbo was the sort of big-fly, big-whiff hitter that new GM Jerry Dipoto wanted gone. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

General manager Jerry Dipoto continues to transform the Mariners, swapping 1B/DH Mark Trumbo and newly acquired reliever RHP C.J. Riefenhauser to Baltimore Wednesday night for C/1B Steve Clevenger.

Clevenger, 29, a part-timer who played only 65 games over the past two seasons for the Orioles, will back up newly acquired Chris Iannetta.

Trumbo, acquired by Seattle June 3, was a likely trade option as soon as Dipoto said he wanted a more athletic team that strikes out less than many on a Mariners club that never contended last season.

The deal was also about money. Trumbo is in his final year of arbitration eligibility and is likely to make about $9 million. Clevenger is not yet eligible for arbitration and will make the minimum.

In 30 games last season, Clevenger hit .287 (29 for 101) with a .740 OPS, two homers and 15 RBI. In 148 games over five seasons, he hit .228 with a .607 OPS.

Trumbo played first base, left field and DH in Seattle, where he hit .263 with a .735 OPS with 13 doubles, 13 homers and 41 RBI in 96 games.

The only first baseman remaining on the 40-man roster is Jesus Montero, which suggests that the Mariners might use the salary savings and go after a full-timer in the free agent market.

Clevenger’s arrival means former No. 1 C Mike Zunino, who fizzled miserably at the plate and was demoted to AAA Tacoma, will remain there in April to see if changes in his swing mechanics have made a difference.

Riefenhauser was acquired Nov. 5 by the Mariners as part of a six-player trade along with RHP Nathan Karns and OF Boog Powell from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 1B Logan Morrison, INF/OF Brad Miller and RHP Danny Farquhar.



  • dingle

    I don’t know if the Mariners will be any better this year, but they’ll sure look different.

  • jafabian

    He has a better BA than Iannetta at least. Both should make a decent platoon. M’s also got Aoki today.

    • dingle

      I like the Aoki signing. He’s only an average defender, but he’s good with the bat and on the bases. When he was healthy, he played well for the Giants.

  • bugzapper

    Servais is gonna have the unenviable job of trying to make steak out of all this hash.

  • bevdog

    I like Montero at first. He has transformed himself physically and mentally and comes relatively cheap. His career 162 game averages are: a .253 batting,. 20 homers, 75 RBI’s, and OPS .693. Why pay a lot more money for something you already have?