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Athletics trade Seth Smith to Padres for Luke Gregerson

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Seth Smith (left) is moving to Southern California while Luke Gregerson moves to the Bay Area.
Seth Smith (left) is moving to Southern California while Luke Gregerson moves to the Bay Area. (USATSI)

The Athletics continue to remake their roster. Oakland has acquired right-hander Luke Gregerson from the Padres in exchange for outfielder Seth Smith, both teams announced. It's a straight one-for-one swap.

Gregerson, 29, has been one of baseball's top setup men over the last five years. He pitched to a 2.71 ERA (126 ERA+) with an 8.7 K/9 and a 3.56 K/BB in 66 1/3 innings for San Diego this past season, and for his career it's a 2.88 ERA (126 ERA+) with a 9.1 K/9 and 3.29 K/BB. The slider specialist is due to become a free agent next winter.

Oakland added closer Jim Johnson in a trade with the Orioles on Monday night and now boast a powerful bullpen featuring Johnson, Gregerson, Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle and Jerry Blevins, among others. GM Billy Beane also signed lefty Scott Kazmir and acquired center fielder Craig Gentry from the Rangers in separate deals earlier this week.

Smith, 31, put up a solid .246/.331/.406 (107 OPS+) line with 22 home runs in 242 games with the Athletics over the last two seasons. That includes a .258/.346/.432 batting line against right-handed pitchers. Smith has played left field primarily throughout his career and he gives San Diego the left-handed bat they've reportedly coveted this offseason. Like Gregerson, he will become a free agent one year from now.

The Padres had a just-about-league average offense this past season (97 OPS+) but there is always room for another lefty bat on an NL roster. They also have bullpen depth to spare. Closer Huston Street is still backed up by setup men Dale Thayer, Nick Vincent, Tim Stauffer and Brad Boxberger, among others.

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