Diamondbacks Trade for Kyle Lewis, Send Cooper Hummel to Mariners

(L) New Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Kyle Lewis (R) New Seattle Mariners outfielder/catcher Cooper Hummel The two were traded for each other Nov 17, 2022.

Diamondbacks Get Kyle Lewis in Trade with Mariners

A day after designating their only two right-handed-hitting outfielders for assignment, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded for one, picking up Kyle Lewis from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for outfielder/catcher Cooper Hummel.

Lewis, the 2020 American League Rookie of the Year, was someone Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said “was a good fit for us. (We’re) taking a shot at some upside here with his power potential. He’s gotten on base when healthy, and we feel like this is a good opportunity to acquire some potential impact.

“We like Cooper. He had some good moments for us this year. (But) given where he was on our team, we felt like prioritizing the acquisition of Kyle made sense to us right now.”

Career of Kyle Lewis, the Newest Member of the Diamondbacks

Kyle Lewis had injury problems in 2021 and 2022. He missed the first 17 games in ’21 after a bone bruise in the knee near the end of spring training. It took him a few weeks to get going once he came back April 20, but a 3-for-5 effort against the Texas Rangers on May 7 got him going. From that day until May 31, he slashed .284/.390/.395 (23-for-81) with three doubles, two homers, six RBI, 13 walks, two stolen bases on two attempts, and 11 runs scored in 23 games. This gave him a .350 wOBA and 2.8 wRAA over that stretch. But a torn meniscus on May 31 sidelined him. In September, the Mariners shut him down for the rest of the season.

Overall, he played in 36 games that season. He played in even fewer in 2022 — 18. After beginning 2022 on a rehab stint with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, he rejoined the Mariners May 24. He played in four games before suffering another injury. In the eighth inning of the last, he was beaned by Jose Urquidy of the Houston Astros. Due to the concussion, he did not play again until July 3 with the Rainiers. After a game, he played four games with the High-A Everett AquaSox before rejoining the Rainiers for five. He returned to the majors July 22 and struggled over his 14-game stint with the Mariners. On August 19, he went back to Tacoma, where he remained for the rest of the season.

Over his 42 games in Tacoma, he slashed .245/.362/.517 with four doubles, 12 homers, 34 RBI, 26 walks, and 29 runs scored. He did not attempt any stolen bases, perhaps an effect of his knee injury.

Team View on the Health of Kyle Lewis

About Lewis’ health, Hazen said, “He seems like he’s healthy right now. I think he finished the season healthy. The concussion was a little bit of an outlier when he got hit…. But yeah, we’re gonna work hard to stay on top of that situation and how that fits from a playing-time standpoint. But when he’s in the lineup, he’s a good fit for our team.”

Lewis played center field for the Mariners 2020-21, but in 2022, he played in the corners, largely due to his knee. That is okay with Hazen. “I don’t think we’re a team that’s going to need center fielders,” he said. “We have four of them. I don’t need a fifth. We’re looking at this spot as somebody that’s going to jump out into the outfield and bang a little bit and, obviously, hit from the other side of the plate. So no, (the knee limiting his ability to play center) is not really a concern of mine at all.” Hazen added that he doesn’t believe anyone the team picks up will play any center field.

The Rest of the Off-season

The team is still looking for a catcher. When asked if they are looking “primarily for a backup” to compliment Carson Kelly, Hazen confirmed. “That’s probably the most logical outcome of what we’re looking to do,” he said.

There is “certainly a possibility” of moving more outfielders, but Hazen said “nothing has changed.” He added, “This rounds out the roster from a right-left standpoint. Opportunity that could present itself for us to continue to improve the roster, we’re going to continue to look at those things. We handled this roster last year, and it can work for us with the DH. But we’ll we’ll see as we get further on into the offseason.”

Along those lines, the Diamondbacks are not done working to make moves, Hazen confirmed. “We’re engaged in every market to improve our team; we are involved in everything.” When asked to elaborate, he said they were “involved in trades, free agency, and any other way we can acquire players.”

Main Photo:

The main image is a composite of the following:

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Players Mentioned:

Kyle Lewis, Cooper HummelJose Urquidy, Carson Kelly