Seattle moves on from second baseman Kolten Wong after struggles at the plate

Seattle Mariners' Kolten Wong removes his batting gear after striking out swinging against the Detroit Tigers to end the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, July 15, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners designated for assignment second baseman Kolten Wong on Tuesday after he struggled badly at the plate for most of the season.

The move with Wong became necessary after Seattle acquired infielder Josh Rojas and outfielder Dominic Canzone in a trade with Arizona on Monday that sent closer Paul Sewald to the Diamondbacks.


Rojas and Canzone were added to the active roster and both were in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game against Boston.

“Just caught off guard a little bit honestly,” Canzone said ahead of his Seattle debut. “I’ve obviously never been part of a trade but just so excited to just get an opportunity. There’s a lot of emotions going on obviously, but if you get traded I mean somebody wants you.”

The acquisition of Rojas, Canzone and minor league infielder Ryan Bliss amounted to the bulk of what Seattle did at the trade deadline.

The Mariners were nearly silent on Tuesday after reaching their highwater mark of four games over .500 after beating the Red Sox on Monday night.

Seattle’s only move on Tuesday was a swap of pitchers with Eduard Bazardo coming from Baltimore and minor league pitcher Logan Rinehart going back to the Orioles.

Bazardo was designated for assignment by Baltimore last weekend and will report to Triple-A Tacoma.

“It was a fairly uneventful deadline by our standards, but we did the things that we thought were necessary to to address holes on our current club,” said Jerry Dipoto, Seattle’s president of baseball operations.

Wong was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee last offseason in the hope he could fill an obvious need at second base.

But his bat never came around and Wong was eventually benched in favor of Jose Caballero getting the bulk of the playing time.

Wong hit .165 with two homers and 19 RBIs in 67 games for Seattle.

He hit a meager .132 in May and was benched midway through the month following a series in Boston.

Seattle manager Scott Servais praised Wong’s professionalism after the initial shock and frustration of being benched wore off.

“I thought he handled the situation very professionally and that is not easy to do,” Servais said. “He’s had a very good career. Things weren’t going well for him. But I think when he had a chance to sit back and survey the situation he did understand where we were coming from. But he continued to work. He was a very good teammate.”

The 32-year-old Wong spent parts of eight seasons in St. Louis and was in Milwaukee the previous two years before playing for the first time in the American League.

Seattle also optioned outfielder Taylor Trammell and pitcher Juan Then to Tacoma and recalled right-hander Trent Thornton from Tacoma to bolster the bullpen.

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