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SEATTLE MARINERS
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Acquired BHP Pat Venditte from Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named later. [8/6]; Acquired RHP Arquimedes Caminero from Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for a player to be named later and future considerations. [8/6]

You probably know this by now, but Venditte’s BP player page lies. The professional game’s only true switch-pitcher, and while he’s probably more effective as a lefty, the guy uses both arms to throw. It’s weird. What might be weirder is the way saberists, casual fans, and weirdos of a certain type are drawn to the guy. Since so many baseball events are the same–one inning often looks like another, one fire-balling right-handed reliever with a slider looks like another–anything different can be a blessing. When it’s packaged in a get-the-platoon-advantage-and-hey!-us-analytics-folks-know-lots-about-platoon-splits double-handed pitcher, it becomes something of a cause celebre.

In truth, Venditte isn’t much more than a replacement-level relief pitcher, if an odd one. It’s not surprising that the Mariners might be looking to shore up their Edwin Diaz-reliant ‘pen as they meander towards a Wild Card reckoning. With Mike Montgomery now pitching for Chicago, the team can use a reliable lefty … with Venditte they get something that resembles that, while also getting a mediocre right-hander. Will he give the Mariners a different look to pair with Diaz and Drew Storen and their other new 100-mph relief arm? Absolutely, but no one looks quite like Pat Venditte.

What this really means is that we’re another day closer to Pat Venditte the baseball curiosity who never really made anything from his MLB career. Despite this being a phenomenal achievement, it will always be a disappointment to those of us who hoped for Pat Venditte the paradigm-shifting switch-pitcher who started a wave of relief pitcher change. It was probably a silly dream to begin with, but perhaps it’s time to acknowledge the death of that dream. It’s the same thing we deal with each time a prospect goes from team to team, becomes an MLB regular or irregular, changes teams again, and fades away. I’ll still be hoping that Venditte succeeds in Seattle, I’ve just stopped hoping that he’ll change the game. Perhaps I should’ve stopped a few years ago. But he’s part of what makes baseball fun and new. —Bryan Grosnick

This is the story of Caminero.

There are hard-throwing relief pitchers, and then there are the elite-velocity guys. Caminero is an elite-velocity guy–he’s been hovering around 99 miles per hour for almost two seasons now. But for a dude who can touch the upper limits of practical pitching velocity, he kind of stinks at striking people out. In his big-league stints, he’s struck out about 17 percent of batters faced, or a little less than a batter per inning. That’s fine–not great, but fine–except for the fact that most of those strikeouts were recorded in 2015 under the tutelage of Ray Searage. In 2016, under the tutelage of Ray Searage, things have gone downhill. Caminero has whiffed fewer than 12 percent of batters faced, which is barely good enough to get by in today’s world of high-powered relief arms.

Perhaps Edwin Diaz can give Caminero some high-velocity advice, but given that A.C.’s splitter is his best pitch for whiffs (about 24 percent this season), and Diaz doesn’t throw a split, I’m not sure there’s much to share. The Mariners have kind of an iffy bullpen, so maybe they’re hoping they can succeed where the Marlins and Pirates have (mostly failed) and unlock the key to Caminero’s heater. Every team thinks they can use a guy who throws extremely hard, even if they can’t get the velocity to translate to whiffs. I mean, look at how many teams were in the Brad Penny business over the years. But while Diaz may have similar velocity to Caminero, they’re likely to pitch in very different leverage situations in Seattle. There isn’t much in this fire-baller’s background to think he’s more than a back-of-the-bullpen arm. —Bryan Grosnick

ATLANTA BRAVES
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Acquired SS-B Anfernee Seymour and LHP Michael Mader from Miami Marlins in exchange for LHP Hunter Cervenka. [8/6]

Seymour was drafted as an outfielder, but the Marlins quickly moved him to shortstop. It was an interesting gambit, because even now, his athletic skill set seems like a better fit for center field than the six. He’s a plus runner on digs, even faster in second gear, but while he can occasionally make the spectacular play in the infield, he struggles with the routine. Also, the arm doesn’t really zip without his full body weight behind it, something easier to pull off on the grass than the dirt.

Seymour’s a switch-hitter, but the swing is raw from both sides and he struggles to recognize spin. It’s a punch-and-judy profile at the plate, and you wonder if he will get on base enough to make his speed a weapon. So Seymour will be an ongoing project for the Braves, and one that is already 21, but the physical gifts do tantalize. —Jeffrey Paternostro

A supplemental first rounder back in 2014, Mader was the Marlins' 10th-best prospect in 2015. His lack of command and overall arsenal caught up to him in full-season ball that year as he pitched to a 4.47 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. Things have improved for Mader this year, as he has lowered his ERA to 3.50 and has improved his overall peripherals to 7.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9; not great, but progress. Mader has a large, sturdy frame and lacks remaining projection. He has a lot of moving parts in his delivery, but is athletic enough to make it work. He has a long, smooth arm action with quick arm speed and a traditional three-quarter slot.

His fastball has been between 90-93 mph for the season, with some sinking action in the lower quadrant but fairly true overall. His curveball was 77-78 in my viewing, with inconsistent shape and some sharpness. The pitch has improved from before, but can still get slurvy and needs more work to further refine the shape. His changeup was the best offering of the outing–thrown between 83-85, it has some fading action and is able to replicate his arm speed on it, the control needs to improve as the pitch was often left up. The command still has a ways to go, he occasionally loses his delivery, and his overall control suffers when he does. If the breaking ball or changeup gets to average he has the chance to start, but the most likely outcome is an arm-strength lefty out of the bullpen. —Steve Givarz

MIAMI MARLINS
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Acquired LHP Hunter Cervenka from Atlanta Braves in exchange for SS-B Anfernee Seymour and LHP Michael Mader. [8/6]

Here at Baseball Prospectus, many of us are now especially fond of players who play independent ball and make it to the major leagues. (Here’s why.) So the fact that Hunter Cervenka washed out of the Cubs system in 2015, pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters for about a month, and ended up back in affiliated ball with the Braves is a nice little story. In 2016, he was able to make his MLB debut with the Braves, and now he’s been traded for prospects just like a real, live major-league reliever!

Cervenka has done a fine job as a bullpen lefty, striking out over a batter per inning and limiting hits, but he’s struggled with command (5.9 walks per nine). He’s a heavy-slider guy, and has been more successful against left-handed hitters despite much higher walk and strikeout rates against righties–he’s faced the two this year in roughly equal measure. The Marlins gave up actual prospects for him–in somuch as the Marlins have actual prospects–so the thought is that maybe he can be a late-inning option as well as a late bloomer. But, for that to happen, Cervenka will have to reduce that walk rate a good bit. Until then, he’ll be a second lefty out of Miami’s ‘pen, which is a far sight better than where he was 13 months ago. —Bryan Grosnick

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hyprvypr
8/11
When you watch Caminero it's basically one pitch, a straight if not explosive fastball, and then once in a great while, a weak cutter at 92 and a mediocre split at 90. In his two outings I've watched, it's flyball after fly-ball to the track or the wall on hitters who loaded up and just missed their angle... This isn't going to end well.