Mariners just keep trading, acquire Drew Smyly from Rays in 11th deal of offseason
Mallex Smith was dealt about an hour after becoming a Mariner
Smyly costs the Mariners Smith, infielder Carlos Vargas and left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough.
Smyly, 27, was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 167 strikeouts in 175 1/3 innings last season for the Rays, but that was a down year. Prior to last season, Smyly was 24-15 with a 3.24 ERA (124 ERA+) and 1.17 WHIP in 395 big-league innings.
Given his age and a move to the AL West from the AL East, which is a plus due to the West's better pitcher's parks, a nice bounce-back for Smyly is likely in the cards.
Also likely is that the Mariners' rotation for 2017 is now filled out:
As for the Rays' end, Vargas is only 17. He hit .242/.344/.391 in 62 games in the Dominican Summer League last season. He's obviously a long-term play.
On the flip-side, Smith played in 72 games for the Braves as a rookie, hitting .238/.316/.365 with 16 stolen bases. He played all three outfield positions, but he's a center fielder by trade. Obviously Kevin Kiermaier is the everyday starting center fielder for the Rays, flanked by Colby Rasmus and Steven Souza, but Smith could serve as a capable fourth outfielder.
Yarbrough, a 25-year-old lefty, was 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 99 strikeouts in 128 1/3 innings for Double-A Jackson last season. The only four sure things in the Rays' rotation right now are Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Alex Cobb and Blake Snell -- and that's assuming no one else is traded -- meaning Yarbrough could get a shot in the major-league rotation at some point in 2017.
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