Jake Bauers thought he was going to get a day off Thursday.
Instead, he jumped in his car early in the morning and drove from Cleveland to Detroit to meet his new team.
Bauers was traded from Cleveland to Seattle in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. He arrived in Detroit in time to start at first base in Thursday’s matinee and bat seventh for the Mariners, going 1-for-4 with an RBI in an 8-3 loss to the Tigers.
Bauers was headed right back to Cleveland, however, as the Mariners open a three-game series against the Indians on Friday night.
“I think I’m going to fit in well here,” Bauers said. “I think the younger you are, maybe the hungrier you are, just as a group. So I think (I’m) just kind of hoping to kind of feed off the energy that they have going on here. It seems like they enjoy playing the game, and any time you’re enjoying what you’re doing, man, you’re going to be in a better spot. So, just looking to come over here (and have) fun and win some games.”
The 25-year-old Bauers, who can also play in the outfield, was designated for assignment by the Indians on Saturday after batting .190 with two home runs and six RBIs in 43 games.
“We’ve seen him some, but he fits right in with our group, age-wise, experience-wise,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He is a young player that we like and think he’s got chance to grow with us. So, we’ll give him an opportunity to see what he does with it.”
Bauers, who originally was selected by San Diego in 2013, was dealt to Tampa Bay in December 2014 as part of the 11-player, three-team trade with Washington that involved Wil Myers and Trea Turner. In December 2018, he was part of the Mariners’ three-team trade with Cleveland and Tampa Bay that brought Edwin Encarnación to Seattle.
Bauers spent the entire 2020 season at Cleveland’s alternate training site after not making the team out of summer camp. Over parts of three seasons between Cleveland and Tampa Bay, he was a .211 hitter with 25 homers and 97 RBIs in 256 career games.
“Sometimes when you get traded from your first team, it’s a little bit hard because that feels like family,” Indians manager Terry Francona said Saturday. “I think Jake felt that a little bit when he came over here. Sometimes things just don’t click the way you wanted them to. That doesn’t mean they won’t. I just didn’t know that it was going to happen with us.”
The left-handed-hitting Bauers should be in the lineup Friday against Cleveland right-hander Aaron Civale (8-2, 3.49 ERA). Civale is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in one career start against Seattle.
The Mariners plan to activate right-hander Justin Dunn (1-2, 3.18) from the 10-day injured list to start the series opener. Dunn, who has been out with right shoulder inflammation, will be facing the Indians for the first time.
–Field Level Media
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