SAFECO FIELD -- The Seattle Mariners acquired outfielder Denard Span and right-handed pitcher Alex Colomé and cash considerations from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for minor league pitchers Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.
Span, 34, provides the Mariners a veteran outfielder capable of playing center field and left field in the wake of Dee Gordon's move to second base to cover the 80-game suspension of Robinson Canó.
Colomé, 29, brings a successful back-end bullpen arm to Seattle to bolster the team's pitching staff. He will be a likely option to assume the setup role for Edwin Diaz. Colomé led the majors with 47 saves last year for Tampa Bay.
"Everybody in that clubhouse has heard of these guys," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said. "They’ve faced Alex. There’s no closer in the American League with more saves over the past two and a half seasons than Alex has. Legitimate back of the bullpen impact. Nobody has played in the past decade who isn’t familiar with Denard Span. He’s a very good player and more than that a really well regarded clubhouse guy wherever he’s at."
The Mariners also received $4.75 million in cash from the Rays in the deal, per Tim Booth of the Associated Press. Seattle will end up owing Span only around $1.5 million for the remainder of the season. The team also moved RHP David Phelps to the 60-day disabled list to free up the necessary space on the 40-man roster.
Dipoto said the team has had discussions with the Rays regarding Colomé all the way back to last season. However, the suspension of Canó forced the Mariners to move Gordon to second base and go on the search for additional help for their roster. The deal consummated on Friday began to come together earlier this week.
"This is something that has been in the works in the form you are seeing in the past five days or so. And ultimately we pushed it across today," Dipoto said.
Span has been a center fielder for most of his 11-year major league career with Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Washington and Minnesota. He has played exclusively in left field so far this season with the Rays.
"We add a high-end, back-of-the-bullpen arm (in Colomé), a guy who’s had a lot of success in the American League in a number of different roles, most notably closer for Tampa Bay. You add him, along with Span, who’s been in the playoffs a couple of times. He gets on base, a veteran presence we can plug in the outfield. Big acquisitions for us," manager Scott Servais said. "I’m excited. I think we’re playing really good baseball right now and we’re adding to that. The fact these are veteran guys who can help right away is great."
Colomé will give Seattle an additional option as a setup man to Diaz after Juan Nicasio experienced some recent struggles in the eight inning role. Colomé has recorded 11 saves for the Rays this season in 23 appearances, including each of his last 10 save opportunities. He has a 2-5 record with a 4.15 ERA this year for the Rays, but most of the runs allowed came during his first eight appearances of the season. Since then, he's posted a 1.84 ERA with just three earned runs allowed in his last 15 apperances.
Span is batting .238 with 27 runs scored, seven doubles, a triple, four home runs, 28 RBIs, 28 walks and six stolen bases. He reached base safely in 23 straight games and has a .364 on-base percentage this season, which would rank fourth on the Mariners behind Canó, Mitch Haniger and Guillermo Heredia.
Moore, 23, appeared in 11 games with nine starts for Seattle last season after quickly ascending through the minor leagues. He went 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA with the Mariners last year. He's spent all of this season with Double-A Arkansas, posting a 3-1 record with a 3.04 ERA in nine starts.
Romero, 20, went 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in nine starts with Single-A Clinton.
"I don't want to short sell Tommy Romero because he had a pretty good start to his career in the Midwest league," Dipoto said, "but its not easy to trade Andrew Moore and I told him as much when I spoke to him earlier today. He works hard. He's always prepared. He shot to the big leagues pretty quickly. We couldn't be happier with his productivity and time with the Mariners. In this moment and this time, we felt like for the now and really the future of the organization, this was the impact move we could make. We took the shot while it was open."
Photo Credit: ST PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 23: Denard Span #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds third base off a double by C.J. Cron #44 in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox on May 23, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida.(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)