Coming off a season in which the Mariners posted the best Minor League winning percentage (.590) and were the only organization to send six domestic affiliates to the playoffs, the club added defensive diversity, offensive power and a left-handed hurler through two trades on Friday.
Seattle acquired corner infielder and outfielder Richie Shaffer and infielder Taylor Motter from Tampa Bay in exchange for right-handers Dylan Thompson and Andrew Kittredge and first baseman Dalton Kelly, the Mariners baseball information department announced. The deal comes one year and 13 days after Seattle acquired outfield prospect Boog Powell from Tampa Bay.
The Mariners also sent righty Zack Littell to the Yankees in exchange for lefty James Pazos.
Shaffer, a 2012 first-rounder, become something of an internet sensation when his Rays teammates playfully ignored him after he homered for his first big league hit in 2015. He's bashed four more over 50 more Major League games across that season and this, and he's tallied 71 jacks at the Minor League level, going yard a career-high 26 times in 2015. The 24-year-old Clemson product has a strong arm and is predominantly a third baseman, but he can slot into any of the four corner positions. He was ranked as Tampa Bay's No. 20 prospect.
Motter, who last played in the Dominican Winter League on Tuesday, is a 27-year-old shortstop who also saw time at every position but catcher, pitcher and center field over 88 games with Triple-A Durham and 33 big league games this year. He's hit .272/.349/.428 over 552 Minor League games since being taken in the 17th round of 2011.
"Motter and Shaffer help us create the depth that is critical to our success," Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said in the announcement. "They are two defensively versatile players who have offensive skill; Shaffer brings power and Motter brings on-base ability and speed. Their additions gives us players with Major League experience who allow us to maintain our roster flexibility throughout the season."
Thompson, the Mariners' fourth-round pick last year, was the No. 22 prospect in that system. The 20-year-old native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, features a fastball that's been clocked at 93 and is still adding velocity. He's thrown 31 1/3 innings, going 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA over 12 games -- six starts -- at the Rookie level over the last two seasons.
Kittredge, 26, has worked predominantly as a reliever since the Mariners signed him out of the University of Washington in 2011. He was 3-3 with a 3.50 ERA over 37 appearances -- five starts -- between Double-A and Triple-A this year, striking out 84 and walking 19 over 72 innings. Kittredge once struck out five in one inning.
In Kelly's first full season, the 22-year-old native of Redding, California hit .293/.384/.416 with 21 steals in 31 attempts over 130 games for Class A Clinton. Seattle took him out of the University of California-Santa Barbara in the 38th round of last year's Draft.
Pazos, 25, comes into the Seattle system after making 25 relief appearances with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and seven with Yankees this season. Since being drafted out of the University of San Diego in the 13th round of of 2012, he's gone 10-9 with a 2.30 ERA over 151 Minor League games -- one start.
Littell, who had been the Mariners' No. 14 prospect, joins the Yankees organization after a breakout year. The 21-year-old 2013 11th-rounder was 13-6 with a 2.66 ERA over 28 games -- 27 starts -- between the Class A Midwest League and the Class A Advanced California League. He threw two complete games for Clinton.