The Seattle Mariners traded for Mallex Smith, traded him away, and traded for him again. The Smith story came to an end after joining the Mets this offseason.
Mallex Smith bounced around to many teams throughout his career and was involved in three Seattle Mariners trades in a short time span. The first trade was in 2017, where the Seattle Mariners made a deal with the Atlanta Braves:
Shae Simmons was a 26-year-old relief pitcher while Mallex Smith was a 23-year-old prospect who just made his MLB debut in 2016. The Seattle Mariners traded away Luiz Gohara (Mariners 5th ranked prospect) and Thomas Burrows (Mariners 25th ranked prospect) who were both left-handed pitching prospects in the Seattle organization. Smith was one of the main pieces of the trade but was traded right after the Mariners acquired him.
All of this movement seemed like a great idea at the time. The addition of Drew Smyly would solidify the Seattle Mariners rotation which had Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, and Yovani Gallardo already. According to MLB.com, general manager Jerry Dipoto said, “Smyly really fits us… He’s a proven performer in the American League. He fills out our rotation nicely.”
The addition of Shae Simmons was also a move to bolster the rotation which needed support. This seemed like two great moves with the expense of several prospects including Ryan Yarbrough (Mariners 13th ranked prospect) who is still a part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization now. The trade did not work out as plan after Smyly started on the disabled list, and later required Tommy John Surgery on his elbow.
Looking back at these two trades, the Seattle Mariners essentially received nothing in exchange for Ryan Yarbrough and Mallex Smith. Gohara ended up being a bust and Burrows is currently available in the MLB Rule 5 Draft and could return to the Mariners. Now let’s look at the trade that brought back Mallex Smith.