It begins with a farewell.
Before we get into the two new additions to the Mariners organization, it's time to bid farewell to Ty Kelly, who was long a favorite sleeper prospect of ours, if you can call him that at 26. Kelly came over from the Orioles system in the Eric Thames trade and promptly turned heads in Tacoma by choosing to not to swing. Like, ever. Kelly wasn't quite as good this year but still admirable, and with terrible DH production through 2014, some of us lobbied for him, even though the 40-man roster presented a perpetual roadblock. Colin even headed down to Tacoma to talk with coaches and Kelly himself about his approach back in June. It wasn't the first time Ty (I'm going first name now) was a friend of the site either, as he appeared on the podcast during last year's offseason. If you're new to the site or missed all these features, take a look back at the kind of guy we're saying goodbye to. He was friendly, gracious, and had an underrated offensive skillset that never got a chance at the major league level.
Best of luck, Ty -- hope to see you turning heads in St. Louis.
Now, onto the return. Sam Gaviglio is a right-handed starter from the Cardinals organization, drafted in the 5th round in 2011. He's 24 and has yet to progress past AA. Despite a 4.28 ERA over 136.2 innings in 2014, he carried a 3.24 FIP/3.53 SIERA, and the BABIP (.352) and LOB% (65.6%) look like candidates for regression in a positive way. Gaviglio is a ground ball pitcher -- 55% for his career, but he doesn't blow up any radar guns, mostly sitting in the upper 80s. He's got decent control but he does miss a good amount of bats, at 8.3 K/9 in 2014.
Gaviglio isn't going to make the team, but neither was Ty Kelly. And while Kelly didn't really have a clear defensive position or future role, Gaviglio will -- depth. He'll probably start at AAA. He won't go on the 40-man roster, and that's a good thing because it's nearly full, thanks to another set of moves the Mariners made today, adding three to the roster.
Fast-rising shortstop Ketel Marte, catcher John Hicks, and Mayckol Guaipe were all added to the 40-man, bringing the total to 39. This is in anticipation of the upcoming Rule 5 draft, where Marte and Guaipe as a sleeper reliever might have been selected -- though I'm not so sure about Hicks, who struggled in his AAA debut in 2014. Still, he's a catcher. Everybody likes catchers! Notably absent is Jordy Lara and Jabari Blash, though neither seems likely to be selected in the major league portion of the draft, as either would have to remain on an MLB roster the entire year or they'd be returned to Seattle. With Blash's cloud of a 2014 suspension and Lara's high-level inexperience, both should make it through. It will be interesting to see who gets shuffled around from the roster as the Mariners add players, as all that real estate they had on the 40-man is pretty much gone.
Finally, the M's made another minor move earlier on, acquiring Edgar Olmos from Miami on waivers. Olmos is a lefty reliever who made his way into the bullpen in 2013 after he couldn't harness his control as a starter, and though he had a cup of coffee with the Marlins in 2014, his minor league season wasn't terribly impressive. He doesn't strike a lot of guys out and he doesn't have great control. He'll get thrown on the stack to compete for the vacated Joe Beimel role, though nothing about his profile suggests he'll be the man for the job.
Five transactions in an afternoon/evening -- not bad, Mariners. It would have been better if it didn't involve the loss of a player I think we all knew the M's were destined to lose eventually.