PHOENIX — The Dodgers traded pitcher Chase De Jong to the Mariners on Wednesday in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers, pitcher Aneurys Zabala and shortstop Drew Jackson.
Jackson, 23, hit .258/.323/.345 with 24 doubles and six home runs in 124 games for Class-A Bakersfield in the California League in 2016. The fifth-round pick in 2015 out of Stanford was rated as the Mariners’ seventh-ranked prospect by Baseball America, who also ranked him as the fastest baserunner and possessor of the best infield arm in Seattle’s system.
Zabala, 20, was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. He had a 2.88 ERA in 16 games in the rookie-level Arizona League in 2016, with 28 strikeouts and 15 walks in 25 innings.
Keith Law rated Zabala the 16th-best prospect in the Mariners’ system, two spots ahead of Jackson.
I've seen Aneurys Zabala up to 99 with an average curveball. Mature body but arm strength is already there. https://t.co/GHpbpUsbyB— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) March 2, 2017
De Jong was 15-5 with a 2.82 ERA in 26 starts in 2016, 25 of which were for Double-A Tulsa. He struck out 133 and walked 40 in 147 innings, and was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year. He pitched two scoreless innings against the Rockies on Monday in his first outing of the spring.
The Dodgers acquired the right-hander from the Blue Jays in July 2015 along with infielder Tim Locastro for three international bonus pool slots, essentially purchasing the duo for just over $1 million.
De Jong was ranked by our own David Hood as the 22nd-ranked prospect in the Dodgers’ system this offseason.
“We’ve been working on trying to acquire Chase De Jong since last July, so this was just a culmination of many months of work and staying in tune with what the Dodgers were doing and finally we were able to line up,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto told ESPN 710 in Seattle.
This is the third trade between Dipoto’s Mariners and the Dodgers in the last 14 months that involved a starting pitcher heading to Seattle. The Dodgers traded Joe Wieland for infielder Erick Mejia in January 2016, then sent Zach Lee to the northwest for infielder Chris Taylor last June.
De Jong was added to the 40-man roster in November, and neither of the new additions from Seattle are, so the Dodgers at the moment have an open spot on the roster.