CLINTON, IA (November 20, 2017) - Former Clinton LumberKing JP Sears has been traded along with right-handed pitcher Juan Then from the Seattle Mariners to the New York Yankees in exchange for reliever Nick Rumbelow. The exchange was announced Saturday evening as the third trade of the offseason by the Seattle Mariners.
Sears, 21, was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 11th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. A dominant starter during his time in college, the Mariners had Sears work exclusively out of the bullpen during his first season of professional baseball to minimize his work load. The South Carolina native began the 2017 season in Short-Season A with the Everett AquaSox before earning a promotion to Clinton on July 20. The lefty was dominate in his 10 assignments with the LumberKings, not allowing an earned run in 17 innings of work. Sears primarily worked off the fast ball, an offering LumberKings Pitching Coach Doug Mathis called "the invisiball" for its high spin rate that made the ball very difficult for hitters to pick up. Sears season ended three days before the 2017 campaign came to an end as he returned to College to finish his degree.
Seattle will receive Rumbelow a 26-year-old right-handed reliever who was drafted by the Yankees in the 7th round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Rumbelow spent the majority of his 2017 season at the Triple-A level with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In 2015, he made 16 appearances with the Yankees going 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA.
Sears becomes the third former LumberKing this offseason to be moved in a trade. The Mariners had planned to have Sears pitch out of the starting rotation in 2018 before the trade went through. Former LumberKings right-handed pitchers Emilio Pagan, and Thyago Vieira were traded in moves made earlier this month.
About the LumberKings
The LumberKings, the only remaining Charter Member of the Midwest League, are preparing for their 63rd season in the league and their 10th as an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. Since the club's inception in 1937, 274 former Clinton players have made it to the Major Leagues. The LumberKings play at historic Ashford University Field located off 6th Avenue North at 537 Ballpark Drive. Advertising and tickets for the 2018 season are available by calling (563) 242-0727 or by visiting lumberkings.com