CLINTON, IA (December 8, 2017) - The hot stove is heating up and again it's Seattle Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto who is front and center in the biggest move of the Major League Baseball offseason to date. Miami Marlins All-Star second basemen Dee Gordan was sent to Seattle along with $1 million dollars in international pool money in exchange for former Clinton LumberKings Nick Neidert and Robert Dugger. Mariners, number seven prospect infielder Christopher Torres, was also included in the trade to the Marlins.
Gordon, 29, has connections to Clinton. While coming up through the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system, Gordon played for the Great Lakes Loons becoming a Midwest League All-Star in 2009, when the LumberKings last hosted an All-Star Game. Gordon made the most of his All-Star game selection by winning the Skills Competition before eventually making his Major League debut in 2011.
The trade of Neidert and Dugger mark the fourth former LumberKings to be involved in trades this offseason. Neidert, 21, thrived in Clinton in 2016. In 19 starts with the LumberKings, he went 7-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 69 strikeouts. During the team's postseason run in 2016, Neidert was the team ace. He earned the win over the Peoria Chiefs in game one of the first round with seven shutout innings, nine strikeouts, and just one walk. In the Western Division Championship Series, Neidert started the series clinching game against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Despite getting a no decision, he again turned in a seven shutout inning performance while striking out nine and walking none. The LumberKings would go on to win the game 1-0 in 11 innings. Neidert's final start as a LumberKing came in game four of the Midwest League Championship Series against the Great Lakes Loons. He was given a no decision for a 3.2 inning outing in which he allowed four runs on five hits while walking two and striking out three. The game proved to be the series clinching game for the Loons, who toped the LumberKings 9-8 to win their first Midwest League Championship. Neidert split his 2017 season between the High-A Modesto Nuts and Double-A Arkansas Travelers. At the time of the trade he was ranked as the Mariners number 2 prospect, according to MLB.com.
Dugger, 22, was one of four All-Stars for the LumberKings in 2017. The Texas native began the season as a reliever before moving into the starting rotation, where he enjoyed his greatest success as a LumberKing. By mid-July, Dugger was 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 69 strikeouts earning him a promotion to High-A Modesto. Dugger's 2017 success continued in Modesto, where he helped the Nuts to a California League title, earning the win in the championship clinching game.
Dugger joins his 2017 LumberKings teammate Brandon Miller in being traded to the Marlins. The $1 million in international pool money the Mariners will receive is rumored to be used in the team's pursuit of Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani. With a Mariners infield that is set at every position, Gordon is expected to move to the outfield and play center field.
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