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Mariners trade Mallex Smith and two players to Tampa Bay for Drew Smyly

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As mentioned in the story about the Braves-Mariners trade, it looked like Seattle was going to flip outfielder Mallex Smith, who they just acquired from Atlanta. And flipped him they have, along with two minor leaguers, to Tampa Bay for starter Drew Smyly.

Smyly, the 27-year-old lefty, posted a 4.88 ERA in 30 starts for the Rays last season. He struck out 167 batters while walking 49 in 175.1 innings. While it was his worst season as far as ERA+ goes, it was the most he has worked in any of his five years in the bigs. He’s a back-end starter and the M’s could use a back-end starter.

Going to Tampa Bay will be Smith, the speedy center fielder we talked about in the Braves-M’s trade post, and minor leaguers Carlos Vargas, a shortstop, and lefty Ryan Yarbrough. Vargas is only 17 and played in 62 games in the developmental Dominican Summer League. Yarbrough was a fourth rounder in 2014 but is 25 and hasn’t advanced past Double-A yet. He flashed gaudy strikeout rates early on, but that has flattened out.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.