This weekend the Mariners made a trade to acquire a 21-year-old minor league pitcher named Edwin Quezada. This type of move typically is included in our Links posts as it is of minimal initial consequence. Today the Mariners acquired another minor league pitcher, but considering his name recognition it is unequivocally front page news.
The return of Roenis Elías (note the accent over the í) is unlikely to be a move of dramatic baseball consequence, but the once-promising LHP is still intriguing. Four years removed from his solid debut season in Seattle, Elías battled both ineffectiveness and injuries during his time in Boston. The 29-year-old hit the DL in both 2016 and 2017, including a right oblique strain that sent him to the 60-day DL last year. This year Elías appears to have been in the midst of a conversion to relief pitching. The results have shown some promise, as Elías has a hearty 31.0% K rate (11.05 K/9) in AAA through a mere 7.1 IP in four appearances, but it’s uncertain whether the Mariners will continue this experiment. If he remains a reliever, his ability to go multiple innings makes him a decent fit for long relief, potentially in a more strikeout-heavy style than Wade LeBlanc offers. Another role could be to supplant/pressure Marc Rzepczynski, as Elías has unsurprisingly given lefties a far tougher time (26.2 K% vs. LHH, 18.1% vs. RHH) as a starter. Those numbers could be expected to improve as a reliever.
The cost is unknown as of yet, but cash is always a good bet in this situation, and if it’s a prospect, well, the cost is unlikely to be exorbitant.
The LL staff reaction to the news was measured:
If there is something notable about Elías’ repertoire, it is his breaking ball. That curveball, you may recall, is a good one.
The fastball has historically sat around 92-93 mph, although it may play up in relief. For those of you tracking at home, that means the Mariners traded Carson Smith and Roenis Elías to the Red Sox for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro, flipped Miley to the Orioles for Ariel Miranda, and re-acquired Roenis Elías.
Welcome home, Roenis.