12/11/2008 12:55 AM ET
Mariners announce three-team, 12-player trade with Mets and Indians
Mariners acquire Major Leaguers RHP Aaron Heilman, OF Endy Chavez, CF Franklin Gutierrez, LHP Jason Vargas and Minor Leaguers 1B Mike Carp, OF Ezequiel Carrera, RHP Maikel Cleto
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced tonight that the club has made a three-team, 12-player trade involving the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians.
In the deal, Seattle has acquired RHP Aaron Heilman, OF Endy Chavez, LHP Jason Vargas, IB Mike Carp, OF Ezequiel Carrera and RHP Maikel Cleto from the Mets; and CF Franklin Gutierrez from the Indians.
Seattle sends RHP J.J. Putz, RHP Sean Green, and OF Jeremy Reed to the Mets and INF Luis Valbuena to the Indians.
With today's roster moves, the Mariners Major League, 40-man roster is currently at 37 players.
"Our primary goal this off-season has been to accumulate talent, both at the Major League level and in our minor league system", Zduriencik said. "We believe all seven of these players have a chance to help make us a better team, either immediately or in the future.
"Heilman can pitch as a starter or a reliever and has pitched in the Majors for six seasons despite being just 29 years old. Gutierrez will dramatically impact our club with his defense in center field, a challenge in our ballpark. Chavez has played all three outfield positions and is a good defensive player with an above-average arm. Carp shows signs of being a good offensive player; his left-handed swing should fit very well in Safeco and his combination of power and patience at the plate is very interesting. Vargas could help us out of the bullpen. Carrera and Cleto are much further away, but Carrera can really run and Cleto is a power arm."
"It is tough to give up quality players like J.J., Sean, Jeremy and Luis. In order to acquire the talent that we acquired today, you have to give up some talented players."
Heilman, 29, was 3-8, 5.21 with 3 saves in 78 games with the Mets in 2008. In the heat of the pennant race in the NL East, he was unscored upon in 16 of his final 19 appearances. His 78 games were seventh-most in the NL and his 76.0 innings were 12th. He limited right-handed hitters to a .222 mark (38x171) and American League batters managed just a .190 mark (4x21). Last season was the first time his ERA had been above 3.62 since the 2004 season.
Heilman has appeared in 70 plus games in each of the past three seasons (74 in 2006, 81 in 2007 and 78 in 2008) and is third in the National League with 69 holds since 2005. He was the Mets first round pick (#18 overall) in the 2001 June Draft after posting a 15-0 mark in 15 starts his senior year at Notre Dame.
Chavez, 30, made 56 outfield starts with the Mets in 2008 (41 in right, 13 in left and a pair in center) and tied for second on the club with 7 outfield assists. He hit .267 last season, including a .313 mark (50x160) from June 11 to the end of the season. The nine-year Major League veteran has played with five clubs: Kansas City (2001), Montreal (2002-04), Washington (2005), Philadelphia (2005) and the Mets (2006-08). He is a career .270 hitter with 98 doubles, 28 triples and 17 home runs in 773 big league games.
Gutierrez, 25, hit .248 with 26 doubles, 2 triples, 8 home runs and 41 RBI in a career-high 134 games with Cleveland last season. He appeared in 119 games in the outfield, making 104 starts (8 in left, 11 in center and 85 in right). Gutierrez has appeared in the Majors in each of the past four seasons, and is a career .258 hitter with 48 doubles, 4 triples and 22 home runs in 284 career games.
Vargas, 24, missed all of the 2008 season after having surgery on his left hip. He was traded to the Mets from the Florida Marlins on Nov. 20, 2006 and spent the majority 2007 season with New Orleans (AAA), going 9-7 with a 4.97 ERA (69 ER, 125.0 IP) in 24 starts. He also made two starts with the Mets that season, going 0-1 with a 12.19 ERA (14 ER, 10.1 IP). In three Major League seasons combined between the Marlins and Mets, Vargas is 6-8 with a 5.81 ERA (82 ER, 127.0 IP) in 31 games, 20 starts. He was originally drafted by the Marlins out of Long Beach State in the 2nd round (68th overall) of the 2004 June Draft.
Carp, 22, hit .299 (143x478) with 67 runs scored, 29 doubles, 1 triple, 17 home runs and 72 RBI in 134 games with Double-A Binghamton in 2008. He set career-highs in nearly every offensive category, including in average, on base percentage, doubles, home runs, and walks. Carp led the Eastern League in walks (79), while finishing 4th in on-base percentage (.403) and games played (134). He recorded a season-high 14-game hit streak, batting .483 (28x 58) with 13 runs scored, 5 doubles, 4 home runs and 13 RBI from April 4-21. He was the starting first baseman in the 2008 Eastern League All-Star game, named to the Eastern League Post Season All-Star team and named Eastern League Player of the Week, April 3-13. Carp was originally selected by the Mets in the 5th round of the 2004 First-Year Player draft.
Cleto, 19, spent the majority of the 2008 season with Savannah (A), posting a 5-11 record with a 4.25 ERA in 25 games including 22 starts before earning a late season promotion for one start at St. Lucie (A). He went 2-4, with a 3.58 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 75.1 innings in 14 appearances prior to the All-Star break. Baseball America rated Cleto as having the "best fastball" in the South Atlantic League last season.
Carrera, 21, is a left-handed hitting centerfielder that is currently playing in the Venezuelan Winter League with the Navegantes del Magallanes. He spent the 2008 season with St. Lucie (A) where he served as the primary leadoff hitter and ranked fourth in the Florida State League with 28 stolen bases. He batted .263 (113x430) with 61 runs, 11 doubles, 12 triples, 7 home runs, 29 RBI and 44 walks. Carrera was named the "best defensive outfielder" in the Florida State League this past season by Baseball America.
Putz, 31, had spent his entire career with Seattle after being their 6th round selection in the 1999 June Draft. As a Mariner, he recorded 101 saves, second most in franchise history behind Kazuhiro Sasaki. He was the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year winner in 2007 when he recorded 40 saves with a 1.38 ERA. In 2008, he made two trips to the disabled list with mild costochondritis on his right side (April 2-22) and with a hyper-extended right elbow (June 12-July 20).
Green, 29, set career-highs in appearances (72) and innings pitched (79.0) this past season. Amongst American League relievers, he was tied for eighth in appearances and fourth in innings pitched. He was 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA (16 ER, 54.0 IP) in his first 49 games of the season from March 31 thru July 20.
Reed, 27, began the season in Triple-A Tacoma before being recalled on May 19. He made 72 starts including 52 in center field. He was originally acquired from the Chicago White Sox in 2004 as part of a deal for Freddy Garcia.
Valbuena, 23, made his Major League debut with Seattle this past season after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on September 1st. He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2002. He split the 2008 season with Double-A West Tennessee and Tacoma where he hit a combined .303 with 84 runs scored, 21 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, 60 RBI and 18 stolen bases.