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Lowe Traded to Jays for Three Prospects

Mark Lowe, from back in the day
(Keith Allison, Flickr via Wikimedia Commons)
The Blue Jays acquired RHP Mark Lowe from the Mariners for LHP Nick Wells, LHP Jake Brentz, and LHP Rob Rasmussen. Some hot takes:

Mark Lowe: Enjoying a stunning season, maybe not for the ages, but certainly one of the more heartwarming reclamation projects in recent memory. Lowe was once a hot M's prospect throwing blazing fastballs. His career was derailed by arm problems, and he bounced around for a few years, mostly toiling in the minor leagues. Somehow his velocity returned this season and he emerged out of nowhere to arguably be the M's best reliever. He seems like a legitimately good guy, and the fan in me is sorry to see him go. However, he makes all the sense in the world as a trade target. Lowe's value was never supposed to be this high, and it certainly won't go any higher. Great set-up relievers aren't all the necessary on a non-contender too, especially impending free agents like Lowe.

Nick Wells: 19-year-old lefty in rookie ball, so he's a long-term project. He has a projectable frame at 6'5" and 190 pounds. He was a third-round pick in 2014, which speaks to his prospect status coming out of high school. Wells has struggled early on in his pro career, but we are only talking about 66.2 innings, and the struggles aren't catastrophic.

Jake Brentz: 20-year-old lefty yet to make it out of rookie ball. Significant control issues, though he also has allowed less than a hit an inning and gets almost one strikeout per inning. The stats suggest that Brentz has some decent stuff but he hasn't figured out how to fully harness it yet.

Rob Rasmussen: 26-year-old lefty, and a former first second round pick, with solid minor league numbers that is yet to break through in the majors. He has some MLB success though in very limited opportunities. Rasmussen was a starter at UCLA, and has worked mostly as a starter through the minors, but transitioned to relief the past couple seasons with solid results. It will be interesting to see what the Mariners do with him - Mike Montgomery was also considered lefty reliever as a former first-round prospect as recently as March of this year.


Though we still don't know the third minor-leaguer involved, it appears the Mariners prioritized upside over certainty in this trade. I would expect the third player to be similar to the first two. That's a bit different than other deadline deals within the marketplace, though not necessarily bad.

This is a heck of a return for Lowe, though in line with other deadline deals. The deal probably would have made sense most years even if it was for just Rasmussen or Wells. Acquiring both, plus a wild card like Brentz, is nice. Two thumbs up from me.