Seattle Mariners have acquired right-handed pitcher Sam Tuivailala (too-ee-vai-lull-lah) from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Seth Elledge.
“Sam is in the midst of his second consecutive solid big league season, and has pitched in parts of four Major League seasons but has barely two years of service time,” Dipoto said. “We view this as a move for our present and our future.”
Tuivailala, 25, is 3-3 with 4 holds and a 3.69 ERA (13 ER, 31.2 IP) in 31 games with the Cardinals this season. He has 21 scoreless outings in his 31 appearances, and has allowed 1 R or fewer in 29 of his 31 games. “Tui” has limited right-handed hitters to a .230 (17×74) average with just 2 extra-base hits (2B, HR). He has worked more than 1.0 inning 8 times and has a 1.93 ERA (3 ER, 14.0 IP) in those games.
In 2017, Tuivailala was 3-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 37 games with the Cardinals, all in relief. In parts of four Major League seasons (2014-current), he is 6-7, 3.65 (40 ER, 98.2 IP) in 96 relief appearances. Sam was the Cardinals third-round selection in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Tuivailala was converted from shortstop to pitcher in 2012 and made the jump from rookie ball to the Majors in just 87 appearances, debuting vs. the Reds on Sept. 9, 2014.
Elledge, 22, went 5-1 with 9 saves and a 1.17 ERA (5 ER, 38.1 IP) in 31 relief appearances with High-A Modesto this season. He struck out 54 and walked 15, while limiting opponents to a .140 (18×129) average. In 2017, he went 3-0 with 5 saves and a 3.24 ERA (9 ER, 25.0 IP), striking out 42 and walking 8 in 19 games with Short-Season Everett (4 G) and Single-A Clinton (15 G).
The 6-3, 230-pound right-hander was selected by Seattle in the 4th round (123rd overall) of the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft from Dallas Baptist University. In two minor league seasons with the Mariners, Elledge went 8-1 with a 1.99 ERA (14 ER, 63.1 IP) and 14 saves in 50 career appearances.