MARINERS ACQUIRE RHP ROB WHALEN AND RHP MAX POVSE FROM ATLANTA
SEATTLE, Wash. — Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipotoannounced tonight that the club has acquired right-handed pitcher Rob Whalen and right-handed pitcher Max Povse from Atlanta in exchange for outfielder Alex Jackson and a player to be named later. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Mariners have designated for assignment right-handed pitcher Ryan Weber.
With the addition of Whalen to the Mariners Major League 40-man roster, the roster remains at 40 players.
“This move gives us two young, polished pitchers who immediately bolster our starting pitching depth, while adding to our roster flexibility,” Dipoto said.
Whalen, 22 (turns 23 on Jan. 31), went 1-2 with a 6.57 ERA (18 ER, 24.2 IP) in 5 starts with the Braves last season. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound right-hander recorded 25 strikeouts and 12 walks with Atlanta. Whalen earned the win in his Major League debut, Aug. 3 vs. Pittsburgh, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts over 5.0 innings pitched. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 25 with a right shoulder fatigue and transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Sept. 17. Whalen began the 2016 season with AA Mississippi, where he compiled a record of 7-5 with a 2.49 ERA (28 ER, 101.1 IP) with 94 strikeouts and 37 walks in 18 starts. Over his final 10 starts with Mississippi (5/22-7/11), Whalen went 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA (11 ER, 61.0 IP) with 58 strikeouts and 16 walks. Among Southern League leaders, he ranked 15th in strikeouts (94). After being promoted to AAA Gwinnett on July 14, Whalen went 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA (4 ER, 18.2 IP) with 18 strikeouts and 7 walks in 3 starts. He was named Mississippi Braves Pitcher of the Year following the season.
The native of Stroudsburg, Pa., was originally selected by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Haines City High School (Haines City, Fla.). He was acquired by the Braves from the Mets along with right-handed pitcher John Gant in exchange for infielder/outfielder Kelly Johnson, infielder Juan Uribe and cash considerations on July 24, 2015. In parts of 5 minor league seasons with the Mets (2012-15) and Braves (2015-16), Whalen is 24-17 with a 2.45 ERA (98 ER, 359.2 IP) with 320 strikeouts and 120 walks in 66 career games (62 starts).
Povse, 23, went 9-6 with a 3.36 ERA (59 ER, 158.0 IP) in 26 starts combined between High-A Carolina in the Carolina League and AA Mississippi in the Southern League. The 6-foot-8, 250-pound, right-handed starter, combined to limited opponents to a .250 (150×599) average, while walking only 29 and striking out a career-high 139 batters. Povse began the season with Carolina (4/9-7/8) and was named to the Carolina League All-Star team (1.0,1,1,1,0,0), going 5-5 with a 3.71 ERA (36 ER, 87.1 IP) in 15 starts. After being promoted to Mississippi on July 9, Povse ranked 2nd in the Southern League in innings pitched (70.2) and 8th in WHIP (1.03). Overall he went 4-1 with 2.93 ERA (23 ER, 70.2 IP) in 11 starts, including recording 9 quality starts with Mississippi.
Povse was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 3rd round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Over three seasons in the minor leagues, he is 18-13 with a 3.59 ERA (113 ER, 283.1 IP) in 55 games, 54 starts.
Jackson, 20 (turns 21 on Dec. 25), hit .243 (81×333) with 43 runs scored, 20 doubles, 1 triple, 11 home runs and 55 RBI in 92 games with A Clinton in the Midwest League in 2016. Jackson was originally selected by the Mariners in the first round (6th overall) of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Rancho Bernardo (CA) High School. In three seasons in the minor leagues in the Mariners organization, Jackson hit .233 (160×686) with 95 runs scored, 43 doubles, 4 triples, 21 home runs and 109 RBI in 191 career games.
Weber, 26, was claimed off waivers from Atlanta on Nov. 2. He went 1-1 with a 5.45 ERA (22 ER, 36.1 IP) in 16 games (2 starts) with Atlanta last season, striking out 23 and walking 5. In 26 games, including 5 starts, with AAA Gwinnett this season, Weber was 2-3 with a 2.76 ERA (19 ER, 62.0 IP) with 41 strikeouts and 14 walks. A native of St. Petersburg, FL, Weber was drafted by the Braves in the 22nd round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of St. Petersburg College. He made his Major League debut with Atlanta on Sept. 8, 2015 at Philadelphia. In parts of 2 seasons with the Braves, he has compiled a career record of 1-4 with a 5.15 ERA (37 ER, 64.2 IP) with 42 strikeouts and 11 walks in 21 games (7 starts). Over parts of 8 minor league seasons with Atlanta, Weber is 33-36 with a 3.78 ERA (268 ER, 638.0 IP) with 462 strikeouts and 106 walks in 203 games (77 starts).