Even though they made only six selections in last week’s coronavirus-shortened Major League Baseball draft, the Mariners aren’t finished acquiring talent that would’ve been selected in a typical year.
Team sources have confirmed that the Mariners have agreed to contracts with four undrafted players, who will receive the $20,000 signing bonus mandated by a March agreement with MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
The four players are waiting to get physicals finalized before their signings become official and the team can make an announcement.
In most drafts a team will select two to three catchers. Because they didn’t take one in the truncated draft, the Mariners are adding two college catchers — Matt Scheffler out of Auburn and Vanderbilt’s Ty Duvall.
It’s a homecoming for Scheffler, who was born in Kirkland and was a Lake Washington High School standout. He transferred to Auburn after two strong seasons at Pierce College.
Scheffler is known for his defensive ability, including a strong throwing arm.
But he was off to a strong senior season for the Tigers before it ended abruptly when the NCAA season was shut down to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
In 16 games Scheffler posted a .412/.516/.549 slash line with four doubles, a homer, 14 RBI, eight walks and four strikeouts. As a junior, he slashed .260/.331/.342 with 12 doubles, two homers, 28 RBI, 17 walks and 26 strikeouts in 61 games.
Baseball America rated him as the No. 18 undrafted senior available following the draft.
Duvall entered his senior season as a preseason All-SEC second-team pick.
He was drafted in the 25th round by the A’s in 2019 but opted not to sign. He slashed .288/.415/.308 with a double and 10 RBI, eight walks, 12 strikeouts in 16 games in 2020 with the Commodores before the shutdown. As a junior he posted a .275/.418/.413 line with 11 doubles, five homers, 42 RBI, 42 walks and 46 strikeouts in 63 games.
Seattle also is adding a pair of infielders in Louisville’s Justin Lavey and Brett Rodriguez out of Wofford.
Lavey was rated as the No. 22 undrafted senior by Baseball America. In 17 games for the Cardinals, he posted a .316/.364/.526 line with seven doubles, a triple, a homer, 17 RBI, six walks and four strikeouts.
As a junior, he slashed .286/.361/.366 with nine doubles, three homers, 33 RBI, 20 stolen bases, 25 walks and 35 strikeouts. He played second base, shortstop and third base for Louisville.
Rodriguez, 22, was off to slow start in 2020, posting a .250/.385/.297 line with three doubles, four RBI, 10 stolen bases, 12 walks and 12 strikeouts. He had committed to transfer to Creighton to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA, but instead he signed with the Mariners.
In 184 career games (164 starts) in just over three seasons, Rodriguez hit .294, scored 140 runs and drove in 93. He set the school record with 85 stolen bases and was thrown out 11 times.