Mariners Acquire Leonys Martin From Rangers

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers

It would appear that the Seattle Mariners’ search for a centerfielder is over. The Mariners have acquired centerfielder Leonys Martin from the Texas Rangers for reliever Tom Wilhelmson. The Mariners will also receive right handed reliever Anthony Bass with Texas also gaining young centerfielder James Jones. This is the third trade the Mariners have pulled off this off season, beginning the reign of new general manager Jerry Dipoto. The team recently acquired reliever Joaquin Benoit from the San Diego Padres and before that they dealt Brad Miller, Danny Farquar and Logan Morrison to the Tampa Bay Rays for Nate Karns, Boog Powell and C.J. Reifenhauser.
Martin lost his starting centerfielder job to Delano DeShields Jr. last season and was lost in the shuffle of Texas’s outfield with Shin-Soo Choo and Josh Hamilton flanking DeShields. The 27-year old Cuban native batted just .219 with five home runs and 25 EBI in 95 games. He did, however, steal 14 bases (19 attempts), whole playing stellar defense in center. But Martin might be exactly what the Mariners need and a fresh start might do him some good. He won’t be a free agent until 2019 and is the type of athletic player that could be a staple at the top of the lineup for years to come.
For the Rangers, the trade of Martin could be seen as simply trimming the surplus. They lose little as far as depth goes thanks to the acquisition of Jones and gain a solid bullpen piece in the form of Wilhelmson. The immediate benefits may favor the Rangers while the Mariners may have more long-term potential from this move.
A particular focus for Seattle this offseason has been the bullpen. After parting ways with struggling closer Fernando Rodney last year Dipoto has placed an emphasis on reinforcing the relief core. The core of their bullpen now stands as Benoit, Carson Smith and Charlie Furbush with the likes of Bass, Reifenhauser, Joe Beimel and Yoervis Medina also representing solid options. Vidal Nuno, J.C. Ramirez and Jose Ramirez also stand to see time depending on further moves in the future.

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