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Mariners trade C David Freitas for A-level reliever Sal Biasi

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Mariners trade beloved backstop, go through backchannel to once again plunder rich Royals pitching depth

Seattle Mariners v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
farewell sweet Freitases
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After the news of Wade LeBlanc’s oblique injury requiring a very not-neat recovery time of four to six weeks, I thought we might see a trade, and here it is!

I...wait. What? Minor league, okay, he’s probably a Triple-A guy, maybe someone who’s been around for a while who

Okay well he’s probably got some really outstanding peripherals that will make him a quick mover, maybe an elite K-BB or GB% or

To their credit, the Mariners analytics staff did spot Brandon Brennan hanging out on a table at the White Sox’s garage sale, and then stole him from the Rockies when Colorado put him down for a second to pick up a slightly-used Craig Gentry. But Brennan had been around for a hot minute, where as our pal Sal here was just drafted in 2017. It’s curious to note that he is a product of the Royals system even though he came from the Brewers, again suggesting that the Mariners’ new market inefficiency might be identifying other team’s development deficiencies. (The Mariners have acquired pitching prospects from the Royals, White Sox, and Mets at a higher rate than seemingly any other team.)

The Royals sent Biasi to the Brewers in exchange for Jon Perrin, a 6’5” righty whose name you might recognize from sharing space with Eric Filia’s in receiving suspensions this spring for “drug of abuse.” Unlike the Royals, the Brewers have a track record of recent success in developing relief pitching, but Biasi’s numbers didn’t jump as a member of the Brew Crew. He has run a fairly high walk rate over his brief pro career and while he’s at times flashed strikeout ability, it’s inconsistent. Clearly the Mariners see something here they think they can tweak, either in his low-90s fastball or what Baseball America’s scouting report called a below-average curveball. Baseball America’s scouting report also called Biasi a “near-average athlete” and said his stocky build invites “George Costanza comparisons”, which seems unnecessarily harsh??? And also a little insensitive towards those with Italian last names???? Why didn’t they just write “It’s a-me, Sal Biasi” if they were going to take it there.

In exchange, the Mariners are sending the Brewers catcher David Freitas because...they wanted him, I guess. The Brewers are pretty set at the big-league level with Yasmani Grandal and defensive star Manny Piña as backup, but an injury to either of those two leaves them with indyballer Skyler Ewing, rookie Jacob Nottingham, or Literally Tuffy Gosewisch. For the Mariners, this is a vote of confidence in Tom Murphy, recently acquired from the Giants, and hopefully eventually opens a spot at Triple-A Tacoma for Joe DeCarlo, currently on his second tour of Double-A.

For us, though, this is sad. We at the site have come to love the whole Freitas fam, whether it’s Kacee being sassy on Twitter or the best-friendship between Daniel Vogelbach and Freitas’s young son Owen. (WAY before any major-league player was using “Baby Shark” as walkup music, Vogey had it as his music in Tacoma last year because it was Owen’s favorite song.) With Ben Gamel and now Freitas as members of the Brewers, we are officially declaring them LL’s NL team. Go get a ring.

Also, one last time, shoutout to David Freitas’s walkup music, a song universally agreed upon by the staff as a banger and one we’ll miss hearing at the various ballparks: