Not even hours after their last trade, the Mariners have made another move – a much bigger one.
Seattle has acquired left-handed starting pitcher Drew Smyly from the Tampa Bay Rays for outfielder Mallex Smith, infielder Carlos Vargas and left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough.
Smith was one of two players the Mariners had acquired from Atlanta earlier Wednesday in the first trade of the day.
Smyly, 27, figures to be the Mariners’ No. 3 or 4 starting pitcher. He set career-highs in 2016 with 30 starts, 175 1/3 innings pitched and 167 strikeouts, and finished the year with a 7-12 record and 4.88 ERA for Tampa Bay. A 2010 second-round pick by Detroit, he began his MLB career in 2012 with the Tigers, then was traded to the Rays in 2014.
“We have been clear that one of our top priorities this off-season was to continue to bolster our starting rotation,” Dipoto said in a press release. “Today’s moves allowed us to add an experienced pitcher to our starting group. Drew took the ball 30 times last season, threw over 175 innings and is a proven performer in the American League. He’s a good fit for our club.”
Smyly’s 2016 season was disappointing considering his potential and previous performance, though he did end it on a nice note, going 5-1 with a 3.73 ERA over his final 12 starts. In 2015, he went 5-2 with a 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 77 strikeouts and 20 walks in 12 starts (66 2/3 innings). He has a career 3.74 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
This is not the first time Smyly has been in a trade involving the Mariners. He was sent to Tampa Bay from the Tigers in a 2014 three-team trade that, among other things, sent ace David Price from Tampa Bay to Detroit, center fielder Austin Jackson from Detroit to Seattle, and infielder Nick Franklin from Seattle to Tampa Bay.
Yarbrough, 25, was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Year after going 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 25 starts with Double-A Jackson in 2016.
Vargas, 17, played for the Mariners’ Dominican Summer League affiliate last year.
Smith was part of the Mariners organization for less than 90 minutes on Wednesday.
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto conducted a conference call regarding Seattle’s two most recent trades, and 710 ESPN Seattle insider Shannon Drayer will have his comments and more on this trade later in the day on 710Sports.com.