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Robbie Ray traded from Mariners to Giants in deal that sends Mitch Haniger back to Seattle

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Baseball Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robbie Ray was traded from Seattle to San Francisco on Friday for outfielder Mitch Haniger and pitcher Anthony DeSclafani in a swap of underperforming players coming off injuries.

The deal sends Haniger back to the Mariners, where he played five seasons before signing with the Giants as a free agent. Seattle also gets DeSclafani and $6 million from San Francisco for Ray, who won the 2021 AL Cy Young Award with Toronto. The left-hander finalized a $115 million, five-year contract with the Mariners in November 2021.

Later on Friday, the Mariners sent base-stealing infielder José Caballero to the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Luke Raley.

Ray, 32, pitched 3 1/3 innings against Cleveland on March 31 in Seattle’s second game, then went on the injured list the next day and had season-ending Tommy John surgery and a flexor tendon repair on May 3 performed by Texas Rangers team physician Dr. Keith Meister.

San Francisco President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi is confident Ray can help his club in the second half of 2024 as the Giants try to contend again under new manager Bob Melvin after two straight years out of the playoffs.

“Robbie’s obviously a big piece for us and fills what we saw as the ideal of a No. 2 starter who had a different style than Logan Webb and complemented him well,” Zaidi said. “Robbie’s a power lefty who misses a lot of bats and before this injury had a really good track record of durability.”

Haniger spent 2017-22 with Seattle, then left to sign a $43.5 million, three-year contract with the Giants.

He hit a career-low .209 with six homers and 28 RBIs last year, a season interrupted when he broke his right forearm when hit by a pitch on June 13. Haniger came back Aug. 31 and batted .159 with six RBIs over his final 21 games.

An All-Star in 2018, Haniger hit .253 in 2021, when he set career highs with 39 homers and 100 RBIs. He has a .256 career average with 118 homers and 351 RBIs in seven seasons.

“Our hope is that he comes in, and as I spoke to him today, is to play right field as frequently as he can play right field, and we’ll just wade into the water and see what it looks like,” Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto said.

DeSclafani, 33, was 4-8 with a 4.88 ERA in 18 starts and one relief appearance last year, striking out 79 and walking 20 in 99 2/3 innings. The right-hander was on the injured list from July 3-17 because of shoulder fatigue and didn’t pitch after July 23 because of a right elbow flexor strain.

DeSclafani has a 54-56 career record and 4.20 ERA in 169 starts and 11 relief appearances. Dipoto said DeSclafani likely would begin the season as a swing or long man working out of the bullpen, assuming everyone is healthy.

“The positives here for us are that we really add to our opening-day roster,” Dipoto said, “and if we look at the 162-game schedule, I think we feel more confident about the way our team looks starting on opening day today than we did yesterday, and that’s a positive.”

Ray, an All-Star in 2017 with Arizona, is 74-71 with a 3.96 ERA in 222 starts and four relief appearances over 10 seasons. He had a no-trade provision that expired Sunday.

While the Giants are hopeful Ray will spend three years with the club, he does have an opt-out following the 2024 season.

“There’s sort of plenty of room with what he has left on his contract for him to pitch well and opt in for those last couple of years,” Zaidi said, noting Ray “looks great physically” and is throwing out to 90 feet during his rehab regimen.

San Francisco will send Seattle $1 million on the first of each month from April through September this year.

Haniger is owed $17 million this year and $15.5 million in 2025. He gets a one-time $1 million assignment bonus due to the trade.

Ray, who also gets a one-time $1 million assignment bonus, is owed $73 million from the remaining three seasons of his contract: $23 million this year and $25 million each in 2025 and 2026.

DeSclafani receives $12 million in the final season of a $36 million, three-year deal.

The 27-year-old Caballero swiped 26 bases in 2023, his first season in the majors. He batted .221 with four homers and 26 RBIs over 104 games.

Raley, 29, hit .249 with 19 home runs, 23 doubles and 49 RBIs in 118 games for the Rays in 2023, but his season ended Sept. 23 because of a cervical strain.

“We would see him primarily as a corner outfielder, and primarily hitting against right-handed pitching,” Dipoto said.

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AP Baseball Writers Ronald Blum and Jay Cohen contributed to this report.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Article Topic Follows: ap-california-news

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