For the first time in his nine-year pro baseball career, former LSU star Austin Nola is discovering what’s it like to be a wanted commodity.
Batting .306 in his first full season as a major leaguer with the Seattle Mariners, Nola was traded to the San Diego Padres on Sunday as part of a seven-player deal.
The Padres, who have the National League’s third-best record (21-15) with 24 games remaining, acquired catcher Nola and right-handed relief pitchers Austin Adams and Dan Altavilla from Seattle in exchange for outfielder Taylor Trammell, infielder Ty France, catcher Luis Torrens and reliever Andres Muñoz.
San Diego, which valued Nola’s .903 OPS (On Base Plus Slugging Percentage) and .373 on-base percentage that ranks second among qualifying catchers, is the considered by the Padres as the centerpiece of the trade.
The team deemed Nola so important that they parted with Trammell, the Padres’ fifth-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com.
Nola, the older brother of former LSU and current Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, has five home runs and 19 RBIs in 29 games as the team’s primary backstop. Last season, he batted .269 with 10 homers and 31 RBIs in 79 games, and played first, second and third base, and both corner outfield positions.
Until Father’s Day Weekend in June 2019, Nola played in 773 minor league baseball games over eight seasons before being promoted to the Seattle.
He made 219 starts as the LSU’s shortstop from 2009-12. He helped lead LSU to the College World Series as a freshman, was the SEC Tournament MVP as a sophomore and the NCAA’s Baton Rouge Regional Most Outstanding Player as a senior.
He was drafted in the 48th round out of Catholic High in 2008 by Colorado, in the 31st round after his junior season at LSU in 2011 by Toronto and finally in 5th round after his senior season in 2012 by Miami.