The Seattle Mariners have acquired lefthanded pitcher Drew Smyly from the Tampa Bay Rays for a package of three players, the Rays announced on Twitter. Outfielder Mallex Smith, who the M’s obtained earlier today in a deal with the Braves, is going to Tampa, as well as shortstop Carlos Vargas and lefthanded pitcher Ryan Yarbrough.
Smyly, 27, came to the Rays as part of the David Price trade in 2014. He has struggled with injuries since becoming a Ray, and put up a motley 4.88 ERA and 4.49 FIP in 175.1 IP in 2016 over 30 starts. When healthy and on, Smyly has been a solid mid-rotation starter, and the M’s are presumably banking on him returning to close to his old form.
Smyly is arbitration-eligible this year and next year, and then hits the free agent market after the 2018 season.
Vargas was the M’s big money signing out of Latin America in 2015, getting $1.625 million of the Mariners’ $2.15 million bonus pool. He spent 2016 in the DSL, playing shortstop and putting up a 734 OPS. Yarbrough was the M’s 4th round pick in 2014 out of Old Dominion, a senior sign who had a nice year at AA Jackson in 2016, but who is 25 years old and didn’t miss many bats there.
Mallex Smith is a speed-and-defense center fielder who had a 681 OPS with the Braves in 2016. The M’s traded Luiz Gohara, their #3 prospect per BA, and Thomas Burrows to get Smith and Shae Simmons earlier today, and Smith would seem to have been a key to the deal for Tampa.
Smyly is someone the Rangers had expressed interest in, per reports, and this does not appear to be a cheap price for him. Seattle’s rotation is better with Smyly, but as with the Jean Segura trade, this is a move that appears focused on a two-year win-now window.