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White Sox acquire Alex Colomé for Omar Narváez

Seattle Mariners reliever is one of baseball’s steadiest ... but also a reliever

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Seattle Mariners
Extreme Extinguisher: Colomé was a set up man during his brief time in Seattle, but was a premier closer for Tampa before that.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners announced this afternoon that they’ve traded right-handed reliever Alex Colomé to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for catcher Omar Narváez.

Colomé will turn 30 on New Year’s Eve, and he’s done nothing but good things since moving to the bullpen full-time. Over the last three years, he’s appeared in 193 games, striking out 9.45 batters per nine innings while walking just 2.78. Wheelin’-and-dealin’ Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto acquired him (along with Denard Span) from the Tampa Bay Rays last May.

Colomé was a setup man in Seattle, but make no mistake about it: He’s a closer. He was simply bolstering a bullpen that already featured baseball’s premier fireman, Edwin Díaz, at the back end. But Colomé racked up 95 saves with the Rays in just more than two seasons, and his peripherals certainly justify use in high-leverage situations. His arsenal resembles that of a poor man’s Mariano Rivera — nothing but fastballs and cutters.

He’s arbitration-eligible over the next two years, before hitting free agency after the 2020 season. MLB Trade Rumors projects that Colomé will make $7.3 million in 2019. For the Mariners, this looks like another step to trim payroll, as rumors abound that Díaz and Robinson Canó are on their way to Queens.

On the White Sox side, this is a curious move for a team that just lost 100 games. Narváez was the White Sox’s best hitter in 2018, providing a .275/.366/.429 slash line while playing a premium defensive position and earning a league-minimum salary. Of course, Narváez’s defense behind the plate is atrocious, and it eroded away a sizable amount of his offensive value. It’s very possible that the Sox are selling high on a guy with no real position.

Still, to trade a firmly above-average hitter for two years of a closer raises a lot of questions about the direction the White Sox will be taking this offseason. Is this a precursor to a series of win-now moves? Is it a value play to sell Colomé at next summer’s trade deadline? Is it just the first half of a three-way Rick Hahn special? All we know for sure from this move is this: The winter just got a little more intriguing.

Also, from superfab brother-in-arms Danny Russell of DRays Bay, here is a specially curated, generated-



seconds series of articles on their beloved Alex Colomé.

And, direct from honcho Russell himself:

The Alex Colomé experience is pretty straightforward. He’s your closer and you can be confident he’ll get the save. He’ll take the mound and mean mug everyone. He’ll walk the first batter to give you heart palpitations. And then somehow it works out in the end. Is he still that? IDK!

Give those links a click — I promised a site uptick of ~3% for him, and they’re good people.