The Seattle Mariners have acquired righthanded pitcher Yovani Gallardo from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for outfielder Seth Smith, it has been announced.
Gallardo, of course, was with the Rangers in 2015, and was a key part of their rotation, although he faded down the stretch. While expectations were he would cash in as a free agent last offseason, Gallardo only got a 2 year, $22 million deal, with an opportunity to earn another $11 million with a club option for 2018.
Gallardo was not good for Baltimore last year, with the problems we saw in the second half in 2015 — the inability to work deep in games or to miss bats — becoming more prevalent in 2016. Gallardo had 118 innings in 23 starts for the O’s, with 85 Ks, 61 walks, and a 5.42 ERA.
Seattle will presumably plug him in the rotation and hope he bounces back. Seattle is also apparently getting cash from the Orioles in this deal, as Baltimore is willing to subsidize some of the Gallardo salary to move him on.
Smith, meanwhile, is a useful fourth outfielder who will make $7 million in 2017. I’d rather have Seth Smith than Yovani Gallardo, particularly at their respective salaries, but that’s just me.
It seems like an odd move for the Mariners, but who knows, maybe Gallardo rebounds in the friendly confines of Safeco Field.
UPDATE — The Mariners made another move today, acquiring centerfielder Jarrod Dyson from the Royals for righthanded pitcher Nate Karns.
Dyson is an elite defender and base runner who doesn't hit much, has never had more than 337 plate appearances in a season, and as a 32 year old who is a free agent after the season, is a short-term option in the outfield. He’s an interesting acquisition, as he's someone the Rangers reportedly had interest in, and he may end up vying for playing time with former Ranger Leonys Martin.