While the other GMs sleep in, Jerry Dipoto is working all the burners on the hot stove, today trading LHP JP Sears and RHP Juan Then for RHP Nick Rumbelow from the Yankees. Then is a 17-year-old currently in the DSL. Sears is a 2017 draftee out of the Citadel who finished the season with Clinton. Sears was a strikeout machine in college and continued that trend in professional ball; he racked up 51 strikeouts in just 27.2 combined innings this year. If you listened to the podcast this week, Jordan from Cespedes BBQ was very excited to talk about JP Sears with other humans. An important lesson for living under the Dipoto regime: never love anything.
In exchange, the Mariners are getting 26-year-old Nick Rumbelow. Rumbelow had a very strong season in 2017 between AA/AAA in his first year back from Tommy John. Prior to TJ, Rumbelow sat in the low to mid 90s with his fastball; he also offers a curve and a changeup. The curve comes out of his hand like a slider and he can use it to strike guys out, which he did at about a 30% clip this year. Rumbelow is a control pitcher who doesn’t serve up many walks. The Yankees put him on their 40-man roster a few weeks ago to keep him from becoming a free agent, but were due to lose him in the Rule 5 draft, as there simply wasn’t any room for him in a stacked Yankees organization.
While we’re sad about losing Sears the Strikeout King, Rumbelow does seem like he’ll fit right in with the mental skills side of the org:
This trade feels similar to the Gamel trade, although Sears is more polished than either of the pieces who went in that trade, both of whom were rookie-level pitchers. But the process is the same: dealing from the lower levels of the organization to impact the upper levels. Rumbelow has major league time—in 15 innings with the Yankees he had a 3.84 FIP—and looks to make an impact in the major-league bullpen in 2018.