The Mariners executed their 10th trade of the offseason on Wednesday, acquiring outfielder Mallex Smith and right-handed pitcher Shae Simmons for minor league left-handed pitchers Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows. Seattle also designated right-handed reliever Cody Martin for assignment to make room for Smith and Simmons on its 40-man roster.
“As we continue to construct a deep and flexible roster, Shae and Mallex add to our potential big league mix,” Dipoto said. “Shae has had success pitching at the back end of games in the minors and has shown strikeout ability at all levels. Smith adds to our growing inventory of multi skilled, athletic outfielders. Both players are young, controllable and have bright futures.”
The most notable piece of the trade may be the 20-year-old Gohara, who had been the Mariners’ No. 3 ranked prospect by Baseball America. Last year he went a combined 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 23 walks in 13 starts with Short-A Everett and Single-A Clinton.
Smith, 23, becomes the latest member of a suddenly speedy and defensive-minded group of outfielders for Seattle along with Jarrod Dyson, Leonys Martin, Mitch Haniger, Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia. He hit .238 with seven doubles, four triples, three home runs and 22 RBI while stealing 16 bases in 72 games with the Braves last year, his first season in the majors. In five seasons in the minors, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Smith stole 233 bases in 413 games.
Simmons, 26, made seven relief appearances with Atlanta in 2016, allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings pitched. He began last season on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He made his MLB debut in 2014.
Burrows, a 22-year-old southpaw drafted in the fourth round of last year’s MLB Draft out of Alabama, went 0-1 with six saves and a 2.55 ERA in 20 relief appearances with Everett.
The Mariners may be on the verge of trade No. 11, too. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that general manager Jerry Dipoto could be eyeing another deal that includes one of the players he just acquired.