The Braves have acquired outfield prospect Alex Jackson and a player to be named later from the Mariners for right-handers Rob Whalen and Max Povse, according to a team announcement.
The move is a rare prospect-for-prospect swap, as none of the players involved have significant experience at the major-league level. Both Atlanta and Seattle have been very active on the trade market in recent months, so the unusual trade does not come as a surprise.
Despite negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement causing the offseason to move relatively slowly, the Mariners and Braves have been very aggressive in making moves to this point. Today’s trade is the sixth deal consummated by Seattle since the end of the season, while the Braves have signed four free agents in addition to acquiring Jackson.
Jackson, 20, was selected as the sixth overall pick by the Mariners in the 2014 draft but has disappointed throughout his first three professional seasons. He has hit just .233/.327/.399 with 21 homers in 192 pro games, but still ranked (according to MLB.com) as the Mariners’ 6th-best prospect at the time of the deal. Despite his struggles, Jackson is still projected as an above-average offensive player as long as he improves his pitch selection and strikeout rate.
Whalen, 22, made his major-league debut for Atlanta last year, going 1-2 with a 6.57 ERA in five starts. Whalen, who was originally acquired as part of the return for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson in a 2015 deadline deal, was ranked by MLB.com as the club’s 22nd-best prospect at the time of the trade.
Povse, a 6-foot-8, 185-lb. righty, was drafted in the third round in 2014. He posted a 3.36 ERA in 26 starts with High-A Carolina and Double-A Mississippi last season, and was ranked as the teams’ 20th-best prospect by MLB.com.