Seth Smith registered his usual full season as a platoon player in 2016 and dialed up his highest home-run total since 2010. His split skills carry through in the power column, which often makes him useful as a matchup play in daily-transaction and daily-fantasy leagues, as well as weekly-transaction formats when he's facing a succession of right-handed arms. Still, even against his favorite handedness, Smith's batting average typically leaves something to be desired. In on-base-percentage leagues, he's more useful because of his walk rates, which have been camped in the above-average department for most of his career. Seattle picked up his option for 2017 but later traded him to Baltimore, where he will likely occupy the matchup role in right field. The 34-year-old is safe and established, traits that go a long way in the majors. Fantasy players can plug him in -- or, in AL-only leagues, leave him in -- as a useful, if unexciting, component.
Smith will replace Mark Trumbo as the team's starting right fielder for 2017, Buster Onley reports. Despite being traded by Seattle in part to his defensive deficiencies, Smith will man right field while Trumbo assumes the DH role. The 34-year-old has hit just .208 against lefties over the past three seasons, but the sample size is small (130 at-bats) and it appears Baltimore is willing to give the nine-year veteran a chance to routinely face southpaws. The combination of increased at-bats and the move to hitter-friendly Camden Yards could boost Smith's value on draft day. It would be wise, though, to see how he fares against lefties during the spring as manager Buck Showalter has a number of other options if Smith can't get the job done
Smith was traded to the Orioles for Yovani Gallardo and cash considerations on Friday. Smith will fill the Orioles' need for a left-handed bat in the outfield and at designated hitter, though he will likely sit regularly against left-handed starters. The signing also throws a wrench in the idea that Mark Trumbo or Pedro Alzarez could return to Baltimore, though the Orioles have found a way to stack power bats in unusual places before. The 34-year-old hit .256/.351/.431 against lefties in 2016, down from his career .827 OPS split.
Smith will have his $7 million option picked up by the Mariners, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Smith put together a serviceable campaign in 2016, driving in a career-high 63 runs despite a .249 batting average. Due to this, Seattle decided to bring him back and keep him in the outfield with Norichika Aoki and Leonys Martin.
Smith is out of Sunday's lineup against Oakland, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports. Over the last seven games, Smith has gone just 1-for-16 (.063) with five strikeouts. He'll return to the dugout Sunday and give way to Franklin Gurierrez in right field.
Smith (foot) is in the lineup for Thursday's game against the A's, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. His night ended prematurely Wednesday after Smith was hit on the foot by a pitch, but evidently it was a very minor setback as Smith will return to right field and the two-hole to face Kendall Graveman. It's a small sample (15 at-bats), but Smith is batting over .500 in his career against Graveman.