The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired former Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis in a trade with the Seattle Mariners for outfielder/catcher Cooper Hummel on Thursday, sending a pair of 27-year-olds in search of regular playing time to new teams.
Lewis won the American League Rookie of the Year award in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, hitting .262/.364/.437 with 11 home runs and 28 RBIs in 58 games. A center fielder then, Lewis has been limited over the last two seasons by a right knee that has been surgically repaired three times. A concussion suffered on a curveball to the head last season slowed his return, and three weeks later, in August, Seattle sent him to Triple-A, where he spent the remainder of the season.
Arizona is betting on his health, hopeful he can join a dangerous young lineup that already includes top outfield prospect Corbin Carroll, breakout outfielder Jake McCarthy, top prospect Alek Thomas and outfielder/catcher Daulton Varsho.
"We felt like he's just a good fit for us,'' Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said. "Taking a shot at some upside here with the power potential. He's gotten on base when healthy. We feel like this is a good opportunity to acquire some potential impact.''
Hummel, like Varsho, has played the outfield and caught, though his greatest strength has been his ability to get on base. In 1,717 minor league plate appearances, Hummel hit .264/.397/.445 and had a walk rate of better than 16%.
He struggled in his debut with the Diamondbacks last season, hitting .176/.274/.307 with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 66 games.
A switch-hitter, Hummel joins a Mariners team that this week added All-Star right fielder Teoscar Hernández but could potentially trade left fielder Jesse Winker. Also still in Seattle: longtime top outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic.
The outfield market could heat up even more on Friday, as the date to tender players contracts for the 2023 season arrives. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger is a candidate to be non-tendered or perhaps dealt, as is Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Hunter Renfroe, according to sources.