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Padres trade Denorfia to Mariners for minor leaguers

Chris Denorfia looks to get into a pennant race in Seattle.
Chris Denorfia looks to get into a pennant race in Seattle.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Outfielder Chris Denorfia, one of the San Diego Padres' most popular and productive players over the past five seasons, was dealt Thursday to the Seattle Mariners.

Denorfia, who can play all three outfield positions and is a reliable pinch-hitter, was in demand by several teams as Thursday's trade deadline approached.

In exchange, the Padres received two minor leaguers, relief pitcher Stephen Kohlscheen, and outfielder Abraham Almonte.

Denorfia, 34, known as "Deno" to teammates, batted .242 with 10 doubles and one home run for the Padres this season. In his five seasons with San Diego, the right-handed hitter has hit .275. In 2012, the ever-hustling Denorfia hit .293 with eight home runs. Last year, he batted .279 with a career-high 10 homers and 47 RBI.

Kohlscheen, 25, may be a future closer for the Padres. This season has been split between the Mariners' Double-A and Triple-A teams, where he has a combined record of 3-1 with a 2.70 earned run average, and 55 strikeouts (with only 10 walks) in 56.2 innings. The right-hander was a 45th-round selection by the M's in the 2010 draft.

Almonte, also 25, was batting .267 for Triple-A Tacoma with 10 doubles, three triples and six homers in 72 games. The Dominican Republic native has been brought up to the Mariners twice, and has seen action in 52 major league games. The switch-hitter was originally signed by the Yankees as a teen-ager in 2005.

While the new Padres ownership vowed no "fire sale" as the team got off to another slow start, the Padres have recently traded All-Star closer Huston Street and third baseman Chase Headley and have gotten only minor leaguers in return.

The Mariners entered the day with a 55-52 record, 11 games behind AL West leader Oakland but in the hunt for a wild-card playoff spot. The Padres started the day 48-59, trying to hold off Arizona for third place in the NL West.

With the trade deadline only hours away, the Padres were said to be listening to offers for reliever Joaquin Benoit and starting pitcher Ian Kennedy.