The Mariners have made a trade, everybody:
Mariners have traded SS Chris Taylor to the Dodgers for RH starter Zach Lee.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) June 20, 2016
While trades always seem to be surprising in some way, this particular trade is significantly less so. The Mariners currently have two-fifths of their rotation on the disabled list (Felix Hernandez, Wade Miley) and reports of Taijuan Walker's lingering foot injury aren't particularly encouraging. Should Walker need time on the disabled list, the Mariners' top in-house options include Donn Roach and Cody Martin. Things could be better.
The acquisition of Lee gives the Mariners that much needed depth which has suddenly become so vital in the team's immediate future. Lee is a former top prospect in the Dodgers' system, ranked as high as the 45th-best prospect in all of baseball back in 2012 by MLB.com. He was committed to playing football at Louisiana State University coming out of high school before the Dodgers backed up a caravan full of money into his driveway and convinced him to throw baseballs for a living. He has since stated that he hasn't totally closed the book on his football dreams.
Lee made his MLB debut in 2015, suffering through 4.2 innings in which he surrendered eleven hits and seven runs. He has spent the entirety of the 2016 season with the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 4.73 FIP while striking out just under seven batters per nine innings. As tired of a narrative as it tends to be in sports, a change of scenery may be good for him.
In the trade, the Mariners depart with shortstop Chris Taylor. Taylor made a good first impression back in 2014, slashing .287/.347/.346 while posting a 1.5 WAR in 47 games. He seemed to have a legitimate chance at beating out Brad Miller for the starting shortstop job in 2015, but a fractured wrist suffered in Spring Training severely set him back. He would go on to post a 23 wRC+ in just over 100 plate appearances in 2015 and has been nothing more than a depth piece this year.