League, Delabar traded in pair of Deadline deals

League, Delabar traded in pair of Deadline deals

League, Delabar traded in pair of Deadline deals
SEATTLE -- With the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming on Tuesday, rumors swirled that the Mariners were sellers. On Monday night, they put some validity to those, trading a pair of relievers.

General manager Jack Zduriencik announced two trades following Monday's 4-1 over the Blue Jays. Right-hander Brandon League was dealt to the Dodgers for a pair of Minor Leaguers, while fellow righty Steve Delabar was traded to the Blue Jays for outfielder Eric Thames.

"We'd really like to thank the two players that we traded -- Steve Delabar and Brandon League," Zduriencik said. "They've been great citizens here, very good people. We're very appreciative of what they've done."

League, long-rumored to be on the trading block, struggled early in the season in the closer's role -- and was removed from those duties. He recorded 37 saves and was named an All-Star in 2011. He is 0-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 46 relief appearances this season. In his last 18 appearances, he has a 2.70 ERA, with four of the five earned runs allowed coming during a two-game span.

Prospects acquired for League
  • Leon Landry, OF: Landry was the No. 20 prospect on the Dodgers' Top 20 at the time of the trade. The 2010 third-rounder out of LSU had a so-so first full season, but was having a bit of a breakout this season in the hitter-friendly California League. He's not a home run guy, though he has some extra-base pop. But he will hit for average and very rarely strikes out. He has decent speed and his plus instincts, both on the bases and in the outfield, make him a basestealing threat and a very good defensive center fielder.
  • Logan Bawcom, RHP: Bawcom wasn't on the Dodgers' Top 20 at the time of the deal, but he had pitched his way into consideration. The right-handed reliever has pitched at two levels in 2012 and excelled in both spots. Serving as a closer, he's amassed 20 saves and kept hitters to an average under .200. He uses a fastball-slider combination and commands his low-90s heater very well. He probably doesn't have the stuff to close at the big league level, but he's shown he's not afraid of taking the ball in the ninth.
  • Top 20 Prospects: Mariners | Dodgers
  • -- Jonathan Mayo

"Can't ignore the rumors. Deadline's the deadline," League said. "The past three years you're hearing stuff, whether it be during the Trade Deadline or even in the offseason. I've said nothing but express how much I love Seattle and want to stay here, but I'm a free agent at the end of the year and you never know what's going to happen. This happened.

"Coming here from Toronto last year when [David] Aardsma was out, they gave me the opportunity to close, and that was fun. This year they gave me another shot, things didn't really work out, but I kept pitching, kept plugging away, kept trying to help the team. Definitely been a rough road this year, but [I'll] keep my head up high and keep going forward."

In return for League, the Mariners acquire outfielder Leon Landry and right-handed pitcher Logan Bawcom. Landry was batting .328 with eight home runs and 51 RBIs in 80 games for Class A Rancho Cucamonga and will join Class A High Desert. Bawcom was 4-4 with 20 saves and a 2.03 ERA in 39 relief appearances with Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga this season. He will join Double-A Jackson.

Delabar made four separate stints with the Mariners this season, going 2-1 with a 4.17 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 34 appearances out of the bullpen. Delabar made his Major League debut in 2011 after quickly ascending the organizational ladder throughout the year. He became a feel-good story when he made the big league club because he had been a substitute teacher in Kentucky just a few months before the season.

"I thank them totally for what they let me do and give me the opportunity to get up here," Delabar said. "Emotions right now, I'm kind of up in the air. I don't really know what kind of role I'm going to have or what it's going to be over there, I just know it's probably going to be out of the bullpen.

"There's a lot of stir recently about things happening, so you're kind of on your toes and knowing this might be a possibility, so you take it in stride and go with it."

In return for Delabar, the Mariners get Thames, who has split time with the big league club and Triple-A -- where he was playing at the time of the trade -- this season. In 53 games with Triple-A Las Vegas, Thames is hitting .335 with 15 doubles, six home runs and 32 RBIs. Thames will join the Mariners on Tuesday.

With the trade of League and Delabar and the anticipated addition of Thames to the big league roster, the Mariners will have one open 40-man roster spot.

Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.