It was reported as close to happening a few hours ago and now ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says it’s done: Seth Smith, 32-year-old Padres outfielder, has been traded to the Mariners in a straight swap for 24-year-old right-handed reliever Brandon Maurer.
Smith was left without a starting job in San Diego when Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers all arrived in a burst of early-December blockbuster trades. Smith regisetered an excellent 135 adjusted OPS+ in 2014 and fits well as a right-field platoon mate with Justin Ruggiano in Seattle.
On the flip side, Maurer is a nice long-term bullpen pickup for the vastly-improved Padres. He does have experience as a starter, but the Friars figure to keep him in relief, where he posted a 2.17 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio across 37 1/3 innings this past year with the M’s.
Smith can become a free agent after the 2016 season. Maurer is under control through 2019.
UPDATE: Now it’s a done deal. Seattle gets Ruggiano from Chicago in exchange for minor leaguer Matt Brazis, a former 28th-round draft pick with good numbers as a reliever.
Not exactly one of the big right-handed power hitters being linked to the Mariners of late in various rumors, but Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports says they’ve “had conversations” with the Cubs about acquiring outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
Ruggiano is stretched as an everyday player because he often struggles against right-handed pitching, but from 2012-2014 he hit .288 with 18 homers and a .926 OPS in 341 plate appearances versus lefties.
He’s also under team control through 2016 and projected to make around $2.5 million in 2015 via arbitration.
During the off-season, baseball players are just like you and me: sitting at home on Sunday night, watching football. Tonight’s match-up on Sunday Night Football included the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys — always a treat.
Watch the game live online
The football gods smiled down upon us as Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. made a ridiculous, back-arching, one-handed catch for a touchdown at the start of the second quarter, giving his team a 13-3 lead, soon to be 14-3.
MLB players shared their amazement on Twitter.
I’m not sure, but I think it was kind of a good catch.
Josh Reddick will take their word for it.
Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano has been placed on the disabled list after injuring his hamstring trying to chase down a fly ball in yesterday’s loss to the Diamondbacks.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Ruggiano has a Grade 2 strain–he described hearing a “pop” at the time of the injury–which likely means at least 3-4 weeks on the sidelines.
Acquired from the Marlins during the offseason, Ruggiano hit just .229 with one homer and a .651 OPS in 14 games. He played mostly versus left-handed pitchers in a platoon pairing with Nate Schierholtz in right field.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, starter Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs have agreed on a $5.345 million salary for 2014, avoiding arbitration.
Samardzija had filed for $6.2 million while the Cubs filed for $4.4 million. Their agreed-upon salary is ever so slightly above the $5.30 million midpoint between the figures submitted by the two sides.
Samardzija’s future with the Cubs is still up in the air. The right-hander will be eligible for arbitration for the third and final time next off-season and he will be eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. The two sides were reportedly far apart on an extension last month.
The Cubs have now settled all four of their arbitration cases. They agreed to a $3.9 million salary with starter Travis Wood on January 24, $2 million with outfielder Justin Ruggiano on January 29, and $2.3 million with second baseman Darwin Barney on February 6.