So you’re a Seattle Mariners fan. Odds are you used to be a huuuuuuge Dustin Ackley fan. You know, before he played his first full major league season. From that point forward maybe you’ve been lukewarm on him at points, but mostly it’s been varying degrees of dislike. Not for personal reasons, of course – always seemed like a nice enough guy. No, we stopped liking Ackley because he sucks.
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After several disappointing-to-terrible seasons with the Mariners, the Dustin Ackley era is finally over. For as long as the Mariners have been trying to get rid of him, there’s really only ever been one interested team – the New York Yankees. As recently as yesterday we had the M’s turning down a Brian Cashman-proposed package, and we were upset about it. But Jack Z’s ploy worked! The Yanks upped their offer and the M’s said yes.
The deal is as such: Ackley to New York, Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez to Seattle. Dustin finally, finally, FINALLY gets a chance to start his career over at the ripe age of 27, while the Mariners are rid of an epic draft bust who was finally hitting enough this last month to make himself into a borderline trade candidate. And the Mariners got some warm bodies! Guys who could actually help!
Flores is essentially a four-years-younger Dustin Ackley, except that he’s an actual outfielder and is more useful to Seattle. He’s hit at every stop in the minors and received a brief call-up to the big leagues this season, where he did nothing in limited time. He’ll report to AAA, but could be up with the big team before too long. He’s underpowered, but as a low-strikeout hitter who can handle all three outfield spots I see him as a guy who’s potentially been underrated.
Ramirez is a bullpen arm who both strikes out and walks the world. You know the type – the Mariners are always rich with this type. He’s 25 years old, throws hard, and seems like he would be a fine reliever if he’d stop issuing over four walks per nine frames – something he hasn’t done at all since 2013. He’s also heading to AAA. If he can get the walks under control he’s a major leaguer. Until then he’s depth.
This deal makes the Mariners better. It was a deal many people probably didn’t expect to get done, and indeed it is rather reassuring to see that Zduriencik wasn’t totally insane to be “wanting more,” and that he was successfully able to get what he wanted. The M’s are rid of Ackley, the Yankees finally get Ackley. The guys who the Mariners got are better fits for their roster. It works. It works on all counts.
Jesus Montero will be called up to take Ack’s roster spot, but not today. The M’s want to call him up, but there might be more moves in the works, so the Mariners will play tonight’s game with 24 active players, according to this tweet from MLB.com’s Greg Johns. What might those moves be? Who knows! Anyhow, when/if that happens it’ll open up playing time for D.J. Peterson, since I guess he really, truly did get promoted to AAA.
The Mariners are in a better spot than they were an hour ago. Now we get to see if Ackley can pull a Justin Smoak and develop into something useful with a contender who knows how to use young players. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. I’m just curious to see how he’s used defensively. The Yankees have wanted him forever, and so I’m thinking they have a plan for him. Which is something we never, ever could have said about the Mariners.