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Mariners Acquire Shawn Armstrong for International Slot Money

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flexible legs are the best thing he’s got going for him
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve got to say, these Winter Meetings have been thoroughly underwhelming. Maybe we’ve just become accustomed to Jerry Dipoto’s rapid-fire trading style, so three days of virtual radio silence feels weird. In any case, this is probably not the sexy acquisition that we’ve all been holding our breath for.

Well, you’ve got to do something with all that extra pool money. This is better than nothing, I guess. Armstrong is a 27-year-old relief pitcher who appeared in 21 games with Cleveland last year while bouncing between the MLB and Triple-A levels. He appears to be one of the first members of this year’s pile, because at first glance he doesn’t seem like anything special.

Armstrong features a fastball that averages about 94 MPH, along with a slider and a curve. He posted a 4.38 ERA last year, which was belied by a 5.51 FIP. He boasts a meh K% of 18.5% and an ugly BB% of 9.3%. Either this is a depth move, or someone in the Mariners’ MLB scouting department sees something mechanical that they can change about Armstrong. Or Jerry is just trying to save face by not ending up with like $2 million in unspent pool money in June. Please don’t let it be that, Jerry.

UPDATE:

The trade that the Mariners made earlier today with the Rays for Anthony Misiewicz has become more noteworthy for a not-so-good reason.

Originally assumed to be for $500,000 of pool money (the Rays were reported to need an extra $400,000), this is obviously quite a bit more significant. The Mariners have now traded $1.5 million in international pool money today for a mediocre 27-year-old righty reliever who is out of options and an okay 23-year-old minor league pitcher. Make of that what you will.