Around 12 pm Wednesday last week, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto pulled off two trades to acquire starting pitcher Drew Smyly from the Rays.
It all began with an early transaction last Wednesday when the Atlanta Braves sent over outfielder, Mallex Smith and RHP, Shae Simmons to Seattle in exchange for LHP Luiz Gohara and LHP Thomas Burrows.
Smith and Gohara were the highlights of the deal, as both were promising prospects with their respective clubs.
Mallex Smith is a solid defender with great speed and Luiz Gohara is a flamethrowing lefty with a fastball in the upper 90’s and even touched 100 at times.
Dipoto followed that transaction with the acquisition of Smyly just a few hours later, flipping over Smith along with SS Carlos Vargas and LHP Ryan Yarbrough to the Rays.
Smyly definitely came at a high cost. Both Gohara and Yarbrough were highly regarded pitchers in the M’s system, and by trading them, Dipoto sent a message to the rest of the league. The Mariners want to win in 2017.
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Both Gohara and Yarbrough were highly regarded pitchers in the Mariners system, and by trading them, Dipoto sent a message to the rest of the league. The Mariners want to win in 2017.
Is He Worth It?
Trading two pitching prospects for a seasoned starting pitcher can raise some questions for fans.
Smyly went 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA in 175.1 innings pitched. I believe, though, that 2016 was a fluke year for him and he will be very productive for the M’s in 2017.
Before 2016, Smyly never had an ERA higher than 3.93 in his five years in the league. His best season came in 2014 with both the Detriot Tigers and Tampa Rays. He started 25 games and had a 3.24 ERA, and
There’s no reason to think that M’s fans won’t see that version of him.
Smyly is a fly ball pitcher and Safeco Field seems to fair well for pitchers like himself, although it might not seem that way from the past couple seasons. With the new defense Dipoto worked to construct, those fly balls are going to get ran down.
Smyly isn’t the all mighty savior of the M’s rotation, and that isn’t something to expect of him. If he can stay healthy and anchor the back end of the rotation with Yovani Gallardo, then he will make the Mariners a legit contender with the rest of the West.