Twins trade Jorge Polanco to Seattle Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners acquired second baseman Jorge Polanco from the Minnesota Twins on Monday for pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Justin Topa, two minor leaguers and cash.

The prospects going to the Twins are outfielder Gabriel Gonzalez and pitcher Darren Bowen.

The 33-year-old DeSclafani was traded to the Mariners earlier this month from San Francisco. He had a 4.88 ERA for the Giants last season while making 18 starts.

The right-handed Topa had a 2.61 ERA in 75 relief appearances as a rookie for the Mariners in 2023.

The 30-year-old Polanco became expendable with the emergence last season of rookie Edouard Julien for the Twins, who are trimming their club-record payroll from 2023 in light of the uncertainty around their regional broadcast revenue. Polanco will make $10.5 million this season, and his contract has a $12 million club option for 2025 with a $750,000 buyout.

Polanco came back from a knee injury to hit .255 with 14 home runs and a .789 OPS in 80 games for the Twins in 2023 while playing some second base and moving to third base to accommodate Julien. Polanco has the most home runs (112) by a switch-hitter in Twins history.

Polanco signed with the Twins out of the Dominican Republic in 2009, made his major league debut in 2014, became their regular shortstop in 2016 and ultimately moved to second base in 2021. Ankle and knee problems limited him in recent years, but when he stayed healthy he thrived at the plate. Polanco made the AL All-Star team in 2019 while hitting a career-high .295 in 153 games. In 2021, he hit 33 homers with 98 RBIs — both career highs — in 152 games.

He’s a .269 career hitter with a .780 OPS in 832 games.

Seattle was set to go into the season with Josh Rojas as its likely primary second baseman after he was acquired last summer from Arizona. Rojas hit .272 in 46 games at the plate and made 38 starts at second base after coming to the Mariners.

The acquisition of Polanco could put Rojas in more of a utility role. He’s played shortstop, third base and both corner outfield positions when he was previously with the Diamondbacks.

DeSclafani was thought to be an option at the back end of Seattle’s rotation for the upcoming season. He’s made just 23 starts combined the past two seasons after having a career-best year in 2021 when he went 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA in 31 starts for San Francisco.

The right-hander makes $12 million this year in the final season of a $36 million, three-year deal.

The loss of Topa will be a hit to the Mariners as he was one of their most consistent arms out of the bullpen. Topa struck out 61 batters in 69 innings and had a stretch of two months last summer in which he allowed one earned run over 27 appearances.

Gonzalez was regarded as one of the top prospects in the Mariners organization after hitting a combined .298 with 18 homers and 84 RBIs for two Class-A clubs last season at age 19.


AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report.



Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.