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.
Baltimore is looking for outfield help following the departures of Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz. San Diego has excess outfielders following the arrivals of Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, and Wil Myers.
Seems like a good trade match, right? Maybe.
According to Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun “dialogue continues” between the Orioles and Padres, with Seth Smith and Will Venable being Baltimore’s targets.
Smith and Venable are both left-handed hitters and Orioles manager Buck Showalter has shown himself to be a fan of platooning, so they could be especially good fits in Baltimore.
Smith hit .266 with 12 homers and an .807 OPS in 136 games this past season, which is strong production while calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home. Venable struggled this year, but was a consistently above-average hitter from 2008-2013 and can play center field if needed.
In addition to trading Matt Kemp and Tim Federowicz to the Padres last week in exchange for Yasmani Grandal, Joe Wieland, and Zach Eflin, the Dodgers agreed to pay $32 million of the $107 million remaining on Kemp’s contract. Ronald Blum of the Associated Press has a breakdown of the payments involved:
2015 – $18 million
2016 – $3.5 million
2017 – $3.5 million
2018 – $3.5 million
2019 – $3.5 million
This means the Padres will only have to pay Kemp $3 million next season, which makes Justin Upton’s $14.5 million salary a bit easier to follow. In fact, with the $18 million coming over from the Dodgers in 2015, you could almost say that they are paying for Upton, too. However, the Padres will pay Kemp $18 million per season from 2016-2019.
Earlier, a report surfaced that the Phillies and Padres had been discussing a potential trade involving Cole Hamels in which outfielder Wil Myers would potentially go to Philadelphia. Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego reports that the Padres, in fact, intend to hang onto all three of their recently-acquired outfielders (Myers, Matt Kemp, and Justin Upton).
Of course, this doesn’t rule out a Hamels trade, but it does mean the Padres would likely have to part with more young talent. That would include some combination of catching prospect Austin Hedges, pitching prospect Matt Wisler, and outfield prospect Hunter Renfroe.
Matt Kemp was introduced to the San Diego media on Saturday at Petco Park …