The Kingston Cannons and the Seattle Salts finally came to terms with a trade the teams had been discussing for several days now, one that will see the Salts receive reliever Damien Hines and $16.5 million in cash, in exchange for minor league prospect Albert Jeffrey going to Kingston.
Jeffrey was drafted by the Salts in the supplemental round in June, the 39th overall pick after a decent season with the Can-Am College league’s Danbury College, where he was 4-4 with an ERA of 3.35, and 72 K’s in 83.1 innings.
The potentially dominating right-hander from Campbell River, BC, is just 22 but already has a massively fast 98 mph cutter in his repertoire.
In three games during the Summer College tourney, he help Australia scoreless over three innings, and allowed just one run on 3 hits in two innings against Japan, before the Dominican Republic managed to run up four runs on him in a three inning outing that saw him tagged with his only tournament loss.
Despite being drafted, Jeffrey did not sign until August and thus missed most of the minor league seasons. He is expected to start either at A-level or Short Season A level in 2018, but depending on his development, could see a major level mound in 2020.
Meanwhile, power pitcher Damien Hines was the other half of the deal, moving to Seattle after spending two seasons with Kingston. As a Cannons reliever, Hines was 4-8 with 12 saves in 51 appearances. He is expected to provide an immediate boost next season from the middle relief role, to a bullpen that includes 2017 AEL Woodchuck Trophy winner Adam Fitzpatrick and lefty Tragically Hipp.
The cash end of the deal is timely for Seattle, who were facing budget strain, and have over $25 million in contract offers on the table, according to inside sources. The team has doubled their scouting budget for 2018, and are considering a costly expansion to their stadium to add seating.