Kyle Lewis trade: Mariners send former Rookie of the Year to Diamondbacks for Cooper Hummel

The Seattle Mariners have agreed to trade outfielder Kyle Lewis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for catcher/outfielder Cooper Hummel, the teams announced Thursday. It’s a straight-up, one-for-one swap that many will refer to as a challenge trade.

Lewis, 27, was the Mariners’ first-round pick in 2016 (11th overall) and debuted in 2019 with only 75 plate appearances, then won AL Rookie of the Year in 2020 and even got a few down-ballot MVP votes. He’s only managed 54 games in the last two seasons, however, due to injury woes (a concussion and multiple knee injuries).

In 130 career games, Lewis has hit .244/.329/.432 (112 OPS+) with 12 doubles, 25 homers, 57 RBI, 68 runs, seven steals and 2.4 WAR. He’s mostly played center field, but he can handle right or left, too. It’s worth mentioning that the D-Backs’ lineup was pretty heavy on left-handers and Lewis swings right-handed, so he’ll help balance things a bit.

There’s still a lot of offseason left, but right now the Diamondbacks figure to use either Lewis or Daulton Varsho in center with Jake McCarthy in right field and Corbin Carroll in left. Varsho is also a part-time catcher, spelling Carson Kelly when the D-Backs want.

Like Varsho, Hummel is also a catcher who can play outfield. The 27-year-old switch hitter took 201 plate appearances last season, slashing .176/.274/.307 (66 OPS+) with eight doubles, three triples, three home runs, 17 RBI, 20 runs, four stolen bases and – 0.3 WAR.

The Mariners are likely to trade Jesse Winker this offseason, but they still have the newly acquired Teoscar Hernandez, Julio Rodríguez and Jarred Kelenic for the outfield right now with Cal Raleigh behind the plate. They’ll probably also be looking to add a corner outfielder, whether it’s bringing Mitch Haniger back or going outside the organization. Hummel is merely roster depth.

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