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After falling just short of snapping the longest active postseason drought in baseball last season, the Mariners took their first step towards reaching the playoffs for the first time since a historic 116-win campaign back in 2001, acquiring versatile infielder/outfielder Adam Frazier from the Padres on Saturday morning in exchange for a pair of intriguing prospects in left-hander Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier.
Frazier, who will be a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 campaign, provides the Mariners with a versatile short-term solution at the keystone. He also possesses the ability to fill-in at multiple spots defensively. The contact-oriented 29-year-old hit .305/.368/.411 with five home runs and 10 stolen bases across 639 plate appearances between the Padres and Pirates last year. The move provides a boost to his immediate fantasy outlook as he should remain a solid batting average contributor, and score plenty of runs atop the Mariners' lineup, surrounded by an intriguing young nucleus of potential impact bats. It won’t be their final move of what is shaping up to be a tumultuous offseason, but the Mariners managed to increase their positional flexibility and give manager Scott Servais multiple options when filling out the lineup card in 2022.
Meanwhile, the Padres managed to unclog their infield logjam and add a pair of legitimately interesting prospects to their on-the-fly rebuilding effort, picking up hard-throwing lefty reliever Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier in the deal. The clear headliner in the trade, Kerr was added to the Mariners' 40-man roster earlier this month to protect him from this offseason’s Rule 5 Draft, and represents a low-risk gamble for the Padres, who desperately needed to augment their bullpen depth moving forward. The hard-throwing 27-year-old left-hander posted a sparkling 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 60/16 K/BB ratio across 39 2/3 innings between Double-A Arkansas and Triple-A Tacoma last year. Meanwhile, Rosier, a 12th-round selection of the Mariners last June, wound up hitting .390/.461/.585 with three homers and 13 stolen bases across 141 plate appearances at Low-A Modesto last summer. The 22-year-old outfielder could move quickly through the Padres' system over the next few seasons.
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Rays, Franco Finalize Historic Extension
After weeks of reports, the Rays and shortstop Wander Franco finalized a precedent-setting 11-year, $182 million contract extension on Saturday morning. The massive multi-year extension, which could be worth up to $223 million with options and incentives, represents the largest contract in franchise history and will keep Franco in Tampa Bay through the 2032 season. The 20-year-old burgeoning superstar appears poised for a monster follow-up campaign after slashing .288/.347/.463 with seven homers and two steals across 308 plate appearances in his debut last year. He also cobbled together a historic 43-game on-base streak from July 25 through September 29. He'll be an early-round selection in all fantasy drafts next spring.
MLB Quick Hits: Scott Mitchell of TSN reported that the Blue Jays have agreed to terms on a two-year, $11 million deal with free agent right-hander Yimi Garcia. … Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported that free agent right-hander Hector Neris has agreed to a two-year, $17 million deal with the Astros. … Red Sox signed RHP Michael Wacha to a one-year, $7 million contract. … Andy Martino of SNY reported Saturday that the Mets are making an aggressive push to sign free agent right-hander Kevin Gausman. … Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Friday evening that the Mets have expressed interest in signing an elite free agent starting pitcher and have prioritized Gausman, Max Scherzer or Robbie Ray as their top targets. … Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported Saturday that the Mets are among a group of several teams attempting to sign free agent right-hander Jon Gray. … According to Dennis Lin of The Athletic, the Padres still have interest in re-signing outfielder Tommy Pham. … Reds signed 3B Cristian Santana to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.