HomeTrending MLB NewsMariners make surprising decision on Luis Urias

Mariners make surprising decision on Luis Urias

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The Mariners announced Friday that they’ve optioned infielder Luis Urías to Triple-A Tacoma. Seattle recalled rookie outfielder Jonatan Clase to take the open roster spot.

It’s a little surprising to see Urías optioned out entirely. The righty-hitting infielder has played regularly at third base this month. Urías hasn’t hit, though, slumping to a .152/.264/.316 line in 91 plate appearances on the season. Seattle welcomed J.P. Crawford back from the injured list earlier in the week, while Jorge Polanco has played two of the past three games after missing some time with a sore hamstring.

Crawford and Polanco should draw into middle infield on most days. Manager Scott Servais told reporters that Josh Rojas and Dylan Moore will platoon at third base (X link via Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times). Rojas, a left-handed hitter, opened the season at the hot corner but moved to second base while Polanco was out. He’s out to a .286/.354/.421 line through 41 games, a solid rebound after his underwhelming 2023 season.

Moore has arguably been even more impressive. The righty-hitting utilityman handled shortstop while Crawford was injured and has hit .248/.359/.504 over 145 plate appearances. Moore has connected on six homers, including three in his last eight games, and is drawing walks at a lofty 12.4% clip.

As one would expect for a right-handed batter, Moore is better against lefty pitching. He has absolutely destroyed southpaws this season (.289/.391/.632 in 46 plate appearances), though he’s more than holding his own against righties as well. Moore has a .343 on-base percentage and is slugging .446 in 99 plate appearances without the platoon advantage, albeit with a modest .229 average.

Moore can also play second base and the corner outfield, so he should play fairly regularly even against right-handed pitching. He’ll likely be at third against opposing southpaws in place of Rojas, who is a career .253/.330/.346 hitter left-on-left. Urías, meanwhile, will get everyday reps in the Pacific Coast League as he tries to get on track. It’s the second straight year in which he has been optioned. The Brewers sent him down for 26 games midway through last season.

Urías entered 2024 with four years and 98 days of MLB service. He needs around three more weeks of major league time to cross the five-year threshold this season. In either case, that might wind up being immaterial. Urías is playing this season on a $5M salary and would be in line for a modest raise next year if he’s tendered an arbitration contract.

He’d need a significant turnaround over the next few months or he’ll be an easy non-tender call for the Seattle front office. He’d already seemed like a non-tender candidate last offseason when he was with the Red Sox, but the M’s sent reliever Isaiah Campbell to Boston to give Urías a shot at a bounceback. It hasn’t transpired thus far.

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