Are... are those sideburns?
The Mariners have finally ended Steve Delabar's seemingly never ending voyages back and forth between Tacoma and Seattle. They have done by trading the reliever to Toronto in exchange for outfielder Eric Thames.
The first ever mention of Steve Delabar in Lookout Landing history was this minor league recap, written by Devin almost exactly seven years ago back when he was still in the Padres' system. As mentioned previously, Delabar washed out with the Padres and ended up in the Independent Leagues by 2008 and then wrecked his elbow and did not play professionally at all in 2010. He worked as a substitute teacher and also played slow pitch softball.
After a successful rehab, Delabar got himself a minor league contract with the Mariners on 30 April, 2011 that was so monumental that we didn't even note it at the time. In four months, Delabar was making his Major League debut. His career is a tremendous story and the Mariners are a little less interesting without him.
Eric Thames was a seventh-round pick by the Blue Jays back in 2008. He bats left-handed and has primarily played in left field in both the minors and majors so far. I mentioned in the series preview that the Blue Jays have an abysmally rated outfield defense this year, and Thames appears to be part of that, with multiple individual defensive metrics rating him poorly.
Thames (25, almost 26) shot through the minors with his bat, spending a half year in High-A, a full year in Double-A and a half year in Triple-A before getting the call last year to join the Blue Jays. He held his own, but slipped back this year and had returned to Triple-A and returned to hitting well. Thames. He has less than a full season worth of service time, so Thames will be the Mariners' property for quite some time should they so choose.
Without a scouting report and going just on the numbers, Thames' skillset at the moment profiles a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, but excellent at none. He can draw a walk, he can hit for power and he can hit for average. His rates are all around the league averages. For someone young and with little experience, that's encouraging. Hopefully there's growth potential still untapped. For a power relief pitcher with limited track record, this strikes me as a fair swap.