Mike Zunino for Mallex Smith (3)
Now things get really close. Our top 3 trades are all separated by less than half a point. Coming in at number 3 is the first trade of the off-season is the Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia and Michael Plassemeyer for Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley trade.
The ranks of this trade were fairly consistent; 3,3,1,5. Josh Maduell was the high man on the totem pole with this trade, ranking it as his favorite. Yours truly was the low man on the totem pole, ranking it 5th.
Again, I do like this trade. 2 years of Zunino for 4 years of Mallex Smith is, on paper, a good deal. Finding a catcher who can give you any offensive value is hard to come by. But if the Mariners aren’t actually planning on competing in 2019 and possibly 2020, Seattle should be shopping anybody who might be gone after 2020 for anybody who could still be around in 2021 and beyond.
If Mallex Smith is the same player he was in 2018 for the next 4 years, it is an absolute steal for Seattle. It is tough to argue against ranking this trade higher, but I just don’t like it as much as a few other trades.
Josh is totally justified in ranking this as his favorite trade. And not to be overlooked in this trade is Jake Fraley, a Ben Gamel like outfielder with superior defense, who will start the season in AA Arkansas.
This trade was the first indication that this Mariners rebuild would be different than most others in recent memory. They aren’t interested in the traditional 4-6 year timeline that most rebuilds do. Instead, they want a 2-4 year window. Will it work? Who knows? But could it work? Absolutely.