June 22, 2021

Mariners opt not to protect any players in advance of 2019 Rule 5 draft (Lookout Landing)

It was a busy day around MLB as teams hurried to add top prospects to rosters to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, swinging trades and DFA’ing players to clear roster space. But for once the Mariners weren’t at the center of the transactional hubbub. Despite having five open spots on the roster and a few deserving candidates in the stables, the Mariners opted to stand pat at the deadline, offering no players 40-man protection.

The most surprising omission is RHP Ljay Newsome, whom we saw as a lock to make a fairly wide-open roster. One of the few remaining members of the 2015 draft class, Ljay plodded through the lower minors with solid if unspectacular results thanks to his plus-plus command of an underwhelming fastball, even winning a Spring Training invite in 2017 thanks to his excellent K-BB numbers. The Cal League came hard for Ljay in 2018, but after an off-season spent at the Mariners’ “Gas Camp” adding a few ticks to his fastball and some more chonk to his donk (technical terms), the then-22-year-old roared back into High-A and dominated, earning a starting role at the Cal League All-Star Game and at one time leading all of the minor leagues (and the…

Read “Mariners opt not to protect any players in advance of 2019 Rule 5 draft” at Lookout Landing