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.
UPDATE: The Mariners have now flipped Mallex Smith to Tampa Bay, along with two minor leaguers, for starter Drew Smyly.
2:49 PM: The Braves and Mariners have made a trade involving four young players: Seattle is sending lefties Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows to Atlanta in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and righty reliever Shae Simmons.
Gohara, a minor leaguer, spent last season at two separate single-A levels. The 20-year-old Brazilian made 13 starts and posted a 1.81 ERA while striking out 81 batters in 69.2 innings. He is, according to Baseball America, the M’s third best prospect. Burrows is a 22-year-old who was drafted out of college last season and pitched 20 games in relief in low-A ball.
In Smith, the Mariners get a center fielder who will turn 24 in May. He played 72 games for Atlanta in his rookie season, posting a line of .238/.317/.365 while stealing 16 bases. Speed is definitely Smith’s calling card: he stole 88 bases in 2014 in the minors. Smith’s path to regular playing time in Atlanta became questionable, however, once the Braves signed Ender Inciarte to a contract extension last month.
Simmons, a reliever, has pitched 33 games in relief in two big league seasons. He’s 26. He missed the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery.
In Gohara, the Braves get a young starter with upside. In Smith the M’s get a speedy outfielder. The other two dudes are throw-ins, it would seem.
Update (8:45 PM EST): Rasmus will get a base salary in the range of $5 million with bonuses that can push it to around $7 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The Rays have signed free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus to a contract, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Details of the deal have yet to be revealed.
Rasmus, 30, had a down year with the Astros this past season. He finished batting .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI in 417 plate appearances. Rasmus had surgery in mid-October to repair his core muscle, shave down a bone spur, and repair the labrum in his left hip.
The Rays were looking for a cheap hitter who could handle corner outfield and some DH. Rasmus fits that bill. Given his career platoon splits — a .775 OPS against right-handers, .656 against lefties — the Rays may decide to use him in a platoon.