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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Mariners acquire former All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez

Nov. 16, 2022 Updated Wed., Nov. 16, 2022 at 4:11 p.m.

The Toronto Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez hits a two-run home run in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Chicago.  (Tribune News Service)
The Toronto Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernandez hits a two-run home run in the seventh inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Chicago. (Tribune News Service)
By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

SEATTLE – The Mariners started to address the glaring need of adding impact hitters to their 2023 lineup with the first of what is expected to be multiple moves this offseason.

The team announced Wednesday that it acquired former All-Star outfielder Teoscar Hernandez from the Toronto Blue Jays for reliever Erik Swanson and left-handed pitching prospect Adam Macko.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported the trade.

“We began our offseason with the intent to add impact and length to our lineup,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a team statement. “In adding Teoscar to an already solid foundation, we feel we’ve become a far more dangerous offensive club.”

Hernandez, who turned 30 on Oct. 15, was an All-Star in 2021 and will be entering his final year of club control, meaning will be a free agent after the 2023 season. Per MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration logarithm, Hernandez is projected to make around $14.1 million in his final year of arbitration.

In 131 games in the 2022 season, he posted a .267/.316/.491 slash line with 35 doubles, a triple, 25 homers, 71 run scored, 77 RBIs, 34 walks and 156 strikeouts in 535 plate appearances.

He suffered a left oblique strain in a game April 13 and was placed on the 10-day injured list, missing 21 games.

“Teoscar has been one of the better middle of the order bats in the American League and will be an exciting addition to our lineup as we look to strengthen our team and return to the playoffs in 2023,” general manager Justin Hollander said in the statement.

Following a 2022 season that saw the Mariners end a 21-year playoff drought and defeat the Blue Jays in the American League wild-card series, expectations for 2023 are rocketing. To take the next step, the Mariners needed to supplement an offense that was frustratingly inconsistent in 2022. Besides the addition of Hernandez, they are expected to add a middle infielder and another outfielder who can provide more offensive production.

Hernandez put together a big season in 2021. In 143 games, he had a .296/.346/.524 slash line with 29 doubles, 32 homers, 92 runs scored, 116 RBIs, 36 walks, 148 strikeouts and 12 stolen bases, earning a Silver Slugger award.

Swanson, 29, blossomed into one of the Mariners’ most reliable late-inning relievers in 2022. He posted a 3-2 record with a 1.68 ERA and three saves in 57 appearances. In 53⅔ innings, he struck out 70 and walked just 10.

Swanson was entering his first year of arbitration eligibility, meaning he won’t be a free agent until after the 2025 season.

Macko, 21, was rated as the Mariners’ No. 8 prospect at midseason by Baseball America. In eight starts with High-A Everett, he posted a 0-2 record with a 3.99 ERA. He was placed on the minor league injured list June 3 with tendinitis in his left shoulder and didn’t pitch again during the regular season. He returned to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, where he made one start and six relief appearances, posting a 0-1 record with a 6.08 ERA. In 13⅓ innings, he struck out 14.

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