Abe Almonte dealt to Seattle
As far as the minor leagues are concerned, Almonte's departure creates a little bit of clarity. Stuck in an upper-level mix that included Thomas Neal, Matt Diaz, Melky Mesa, Ronnier Mustelier, Zoilo Almonte, Ramon Flores, Slade Heathcott, Adonis Garcia and Tyler Austin, there wasn't a clear place for Abe to get the regular at-bats he needed to continue his development.
If he'd stayed in the organization he'd have been destined for the same kind of secondary or tertiary role that Ray Kruml and Colin Curtis dealt with last season in Triple-A before they were released to make room for Mesa. He'll be better off with Tacoma, and might even get to meet up with former teammates Hector Noesi, DJ Mitchell and Danny Farquhar with the Rainiers.
Almonte will bring above-average speed, positional versatility and excellent contact skills -- not to mention fluency in English and Spanish -- to Seattle, where he'll wait his turn behind Jason Bay, Franklin Gutierrez and Mike Morse.
Thunder manager Tony Franklin always believed Abe would get a shot in the big leagues, and this trade puts him one step closer. I'd bet he makes his debut this September.