UPDATE (Nov. 20 at 4:45 p.m. ET): Juan Then has made the Yankees’ list of Top 30 Prospects. He is currently listed as the team’s No. 28 prospect.
The Yankees cleared a 40-man roster spot Saturday as they traded RHP Nick Rumbelow to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for LHP JP Sears and RHP Juan Then.
Rumbelow had been added to the 40-man roster Nov. 6 along with OF Jake Cave in order to prevent them from becoming minor league free agents. The 26-year-old made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015, with a 4.02 ERA and a promising 8.6 K/9 rate. But, he missed the 2016 season because of Tommy John surgery, and was eventually released. He re-signed to a minor league deal with the Yankees in 2017, pitching to a 1.12 ERA and 10.0 K/9 in 25 games combined between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
LHP JP Sears was the Mariners No. 21 prospect prior to the trade. He was an 11th round pick by Seattle in this year’s Amateur Draft. He made 17 appearances between Low-A and High-A, pitching to a stingy 0.65 ERA and 16.6 K/9 rate. Sears was a junior at Citadel when drafted, finishing his season with a 2.64 ERA across 95⅓ innings. At age-21, he will not be Rule 5 eligible until December 2020.
RHP Juan Then is a 17-year-old who made 17 starts in 2017 for the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League Mariners. The Mariners signed him July 2, 2016, as an international amateur player. In the DSL, he had a 2-2 record, a 2.64 ERA and a 8.2 K/9 rate. The Yankees have a history of acquiring young arms with good stuff, and Then seems to fit that trend.
The Yankees and Mariners have hooked up on trades recently with interesting benefits on each side. Last season, the Yankees sent OF Ben Gamel to the Mariners in exchange for RHPs Jio Orozco and Juan De Paula. Gamel went on to breakthrough with a .275/.322/.413 line with Seattle in 134 games. Orozco went 8-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) across three MiLB levels. De Paula went 5-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) with the Short Season-A Staten Island Yankees.
During the 2016 offseason, the Yankees traded LHP James Pazos to the Mariners for RHP Zack Littell. Littell pitched to a 1.91 ERA in two MiLB levels with the Yankees before they shipped him to the Minnesota Twins with LHP Dietrich Enns for LHP Jaime García. Pazos appeared in 59 games, with a 3.86 ERA, 10.9 K/9 rate and 4.0 BB/9 rate.
Note: This article originally stated that Gamel was traded for Littell. This has been corrected as of 6 p.m. ET November 20, 2017.