No more than ten minutes after Mariners General Manager, Jerry Dipoto acquired Mallex Smith from the Braves, reports began to roll in that Smith was on his way to the Rays.
Thirty minutes later, Mallex Smith was gone; traded away to the Tampa Bay Rays along with two other prospects for veteran Drew Smyly.
So, just who did Tampa acquire? Was it worth it? You be the judge. Below is everything you need to know about the Rays newest players: Ryan Yarbrough, Mallex Smith, and Carlos Vargas.
Sodo Mojo’s #10 Mariners prospect -a full breakdown on Yarbrough can be found here. Yarbrough is a left-handed pitcher who spent the 2016 season in Double-A Jackson. He is 25 years old.
A 4th round pick in 2014, Yarbrough had made a name for himself in the Mariners farm system. His greatest strength is his ability to pepper the strike zone.
The fastball sits at 92 MPH with great tilt, which generates a ton of groundballs. The changeup is a solid-average big league offering, and Yarbrough throws with great arm action.
His curveball is the make or break pitch. It has shown flashes of being an average pitch. If he can throw it more consistently, Yarbrough will be seen as a solid #4 type. Without further development, he is a #5 or #6 type of starter.
Yarbrough gets high marks for his pitch-ability and understanding of how to get hitters out. He was a solid asset for the Mariners and should continue to be for the Rays.
A Mariner for less than one hour, Smith brings explosive speed to the Tampa Bay outfield. He is truly an 80-grade runner, one of the fastest men in Major League Baseball.
Smith is also a solid defensive player. He profiles similarly to the Mariners, Jarrod Dyson. Smith, like Dyson, will have to work to become even an average hitter. If he can, his speed and defense will allow him to find everyday work in the Rays outfield.
More from SoDo Mojo
- Winter Meetings Wrap Up: Checking where the Mariners stand
- What it would take for the Mariners to trade for Randy Arozarena
- A Farewell to Mitch Haniger as he signs with the San Francisco Giants
- Julio Rodríguez Racks Up the Accolades
- The Next Wave of Mariners Prospects Could Make Big Impact in 2023
If he can, his speed and defense will allow him to find everyday work in the Rays outfield.
Vargas was the Mariners big international signing of 2015 signing period. A 6’3″ shortstop, the 17-year-old might be the biggest prize in this deal. Although he has a long way to go, Vargas can play.
His athleticism and range appear good enough that he could stay at shortstop, though a move to third base would not be shocking.
Vargas’s raw power and hit tool have some scouts very excited about his future. Some have compared his skill-set to a poor man’s Carlos Correa, but he has a long way to go.
Vargas should hit the Rays lineup sometime in 2020 and looks like he will be a solid contributor.
At the end of the day, Jerry Dipoto gave up some very nice pieces for veteran Drew Smyly. But who got the better end of the deal? Only time will tell.