The Seattle Mariners are not waiting for the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline to makes moves to bolster their postseason chances.
On Friday, the team announced it acquired reliever Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span from the Tampa Bay Rays, along with cash considerations, in exchange for starting pitchers Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero.
At 29-20, Seattle finds itself in the thick of the playoff race early. The team is sitting three games back of the Houston Astros in the American League West and has a 1.5-game lead over the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild-card spot.
However, this squad has lost a couple of key pieces lately. Second baseman Robinson Cano fractured his hand earlier this month and received an 80-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Dee Gordon, who started the year in center field and was expected to be Cano's replacement at second, hit the disabled list earlier this week with a fractured big right toe.
The Mariners decided not to risk letting injuries hamper their campaign.
In six seasons with Tampa Bay, Colome posted a 3.21 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He also has a career rate of 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings. As solid as he has been throughout his career, the right-hander has had some struggles this season. He has a 4.15 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP, and he has been scored on in eight of his 23 appearances.
Span, on the other hand, is headed to his fourth team in four years. The 34-year-old is hitting just .238 with four home runs, seven doubles, one triple, six stolen bases and 28 RBI. While he is hitting well below his career .282 mark, he is still finding ways to get on base. The veteran outfielder has a .364 on-base percentage, thanks to 28 walks in 173 plate appearances. He can play all three outfield positions, although he has only played left field this season.
Meanwhile, the Rays are getting a pair of talented young arms, as Minor League Baseball pointed out:
Moore, a second-round pick in 2015, got his feet wet in the majors last season. The right-hander went 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP and 31 strikeouts in 11 appearances, including nine starts. He allowed 14 home runs in 59 innings.
Romero, meanwhile, has impressed since Seattle took him in the 15th round of last year's draft. He went 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 games (two starts) in rookie ball last season. He has continued to build on that success in 2018.
Seattle now has a boost as it looks to make the postseason for the first time since 2001. On the other end of the deal, the Rays have a pair of promising pitchers to develop.