BY SPNW Staff 08:55PM 11/28/2016

Mariners trade former top pick for two pitchers

Ever-busy Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto busted another move Monday, bailing on former first-round draft pick OF Alex Jackson, twice the organization’s top-rated prospect, in favor of two young right-handed pitchers from the Atlanta Braves.

Acquired were Rob Whalen, 22, and Max Povse, 23, to compete eventually for a spot in the back end of the starting rotation.

Jackson, 20, was the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft whom some scouts said was the best available high school player. But in three minor league seasons, he hit a combined .233 with 21 homers and 109 RBIs. To clear roster space, the Mariners also designated for assignment RHP Ryan Weber, who was acquired Nov. 2 on a waiver claim from Atlanta.

A player to be named later will also go to Atlanta.

“This move gives us two young, polished pitchers,” Dipoto said, “who immediately bolster our starting pitching depth, while adding to our roster flexibility.”

Whalen, who turns 23 Jan. 31, is likely to start in AAA Tacoma after spending most of 2016 in AA Mississippi and AAA Gwinnett. He combined for a 7-5 record and a 2.49 ERA in 21 starts.

A 12th-round pick in 2012 by the Nets out of Florida, Whalen had five starts for Atlanta in August. He will be added to the 40-man roster.

Povse, 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, was 9-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 26 starts at Mississippi and Hi-A Carolina. He was a third-round pick by Atlanta in the 2012 draft.



  • jafabian

    The club definitely has the need for a table setter at the top of the lineup when Aoki didn’t work out. But among his deficiencies was his fielding and Safeco Field, despite having the fences moved in, demands players who can cover a lot of ground and have a strong arm. Right now only Leonys Martin fits that bill. Gone are the days of a Cruz-Griffey-Buhner or Winn-Cameron-Ichiro outfield. So I hesitate in getting excited about giving up a prospect with 5 tool potential to fill a need. Especially when I see Adam Jones in an O’s uniform and realize he used to be an M.

    For whatever reason ever since Lou Pinella left the club has had a short leash on managers but the opposite with GM’s. After seeing Brad Miller and Mark Trumbo go on hit parades last season and Mike Montgomery get the save in game 7 of the World Series Jerry should be on the hot seat on these deals. He says some nice things about the pitcher acquisitions but he said the same thing about Karns and Miley last season. Talk is cheap at this point.

    • Kevin Lynch

      Agree. But I think intuitively that this last big deal was needed and I think the M’s got the better of the deal. Sure can’t prove that. Time will tell. And you left out the ex-Mariner Toronto pitcher who won 20 games this year. Felix needs to bounce back. They need one more big time starter and some bullpen fixes. And Zunino needs to step up. Then they can make the playoffs.

      • jafabian

        Dipoto didn’t trade/release JA Happ. But he did with Montgomery, Miller and Trumbo. I’m thinking they should move Zunino. In fact I wish they traded him instead of Taijuan.

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