Mariners, Red Sox Swap Luis Urias, Isaiah Campbell

The Mariners announced the acquisition of infielder Luis Urias from the Red Sox. Reliever Isaiah Campbell is headed to Boston in a one-for-one swap.

Urias, 26, was a consensus top-30 prospect in baseball entering the 2019 season. However, the infielder struggled in limited playing time with the Padres and was shipped to Milwaukee in the deal that brought Trent Grisham to San Diego. While Urias struggled through the shortened 2020 season with the Brewers, slashing just .239/.308/.294 while appearing in 41 of the club’s 60 games. Fortunately for Milwaukee, however, Urias broke out during his age-24 season and proceeded to be an above average regular for the Brewers over the next two seasons.

From 2021-22, Urias posted a .244/.340/.426 slash line across 1042 trips to the plate while playing strong defense at shortstop, second base, and third base to anchor the club’s infield alongside Willy Adames. The Brewers entered 2023 figuring to once again lean on Urias as a steady presence on the dirt but the 26-year-old was bit by the injury bug before his season could properly begin, landing on the injured list with a hamstring strain just after Opening Day. Urias returned in early June but struggled badly at the plate, slashing a brutal .145/.299/.236 across 20 games with the club this season. That downturn in performance led the Brewers to swap Urias to the Red Sox at the deadline this year.

Urias was used as a depth option at second base by Boston, and hit acceptably in the role with a .225/.361/.337 slash line in 109 trips to the plate with the club down the stretch. While that performance was good for a roughly league average 98 wRC+, Urias was nonetheless viewed as a likely non-tendered candidate given his $4.7MM projected salary by MLBTR’s Matt Swartz. Fortunately for both Urias and the Red Sox, however, the Mariners were willing to take a shot on Urias returning to form in 2024.

Urias makes plenty of sense for a Mariners club that could use an upgrade to its second base mix, which currently features Josh Rojas and Dylan Moore. Urias figures to provide the club with a solid right-handed complement to Rojas and fellow lefty JP Crawford up the middle who can play capable defense all around the infield. If he’s able to regain his 2021-22 form, Urias could be in line for the lion’s share of starts at the keystone given Rojas’s tepid .245/.303/.338 slash line in 350 plate appearances between Arizona and Seattle this year.

In return for Urias’s services, the Red Sox acquired right-hander Isaiah Campbell. Campbell was a second-round pick by the Mariners in the 2019 draft and made his major league debut out of the bullpen for Seattle earlier this year. Across 28 2/3 innings of work with the Mariners, Campbell impressed with a 2.83 ERA and 3.32 FIP to go along with a solid 27.5% strikeout rate. Campbell’s success is all the more impressive for a prospect who skipped the Triple-A level entirely after 24 strong innings of work at the Double-A level this year. The 25-year-old figures to be an interesting bullpen piece for the Red Sox in 2024, particularly given the righty has options remaining that will allow the club to shuttle him between Triple-A and the majors if they so choose.

Alex Speier of the Boston Globe first reported the Mariners were acquiring Urias. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported the Red Sox were acquiring Campbell.

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Title: Mariners, Red Sox Swap Luis Urias, Isaiah Campbell
Author: Nick Deeds

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