The Seattle Mariners are deep with left-handed outfielders. Trading for someone who can hit a southpaw makes sense for them. Enter Chris Denorfia and his career .301/.367/.443 triple slash line against sinister hurlers. His numbers have not been as good this year, but still respectable when you compare him to the Mariners' current options. So, he heads north today to take his platooning duties to a team in contention for a playoff spot. He will be a free agent after the season, so any fans of his can still hold out hope that the Padres will bring him back for another spin in 2015.
In exchange the Padres receive OF Abraham Almonte and RHP Stephen Kohlscheen. Those that pay attention in Spring Training may remember Almonte. The Mariners had a acquired a number of unathletic, bad defense corner outfield/first baseman and looked to badly need a more athletic outfielder like Almonte. He was a stud in March, which followed an excellent campaign in AAA in 2013. The 25 year old made the opening day roster and looked to be holding his own until the shine wore off mid April. In May, once his batting average dipped below .200 he was option back to AAA where he has been okay. Similar to recent acquisition Yangervis Solarte, he has been in the minors for a long time after signing as a 17 year old. He has never stood out, but is old enough and talented enough to get a real chance to see if he can have a role on a major league club.
Stephen Kohlscheen has never made the majors. Like Almonte he is 25 years old. He has solely been used as relief pitcher for the past few seasons and has good strikeout rates and his walk numbers have come down this season, which would seem to suggest that he should survive in a major league 'pen one day. He is exactly the type of player you expect to get acquired in a trade for a platoon player.
And with that we say goodbye to Chris Denorfia and his, somewhat surprising, solid half decade of service. His heart and hustle will be missed, but it was likely to be missed anyway once he hit free agency. The break up just occurred a couple months earlier and netted the Padres some younger, controllable players.