After flipping Mallex Smith to the Rays, he returned to Seattle after the 2018 season
The Seattle Mariners owned Mallex Smith for less than a day in 2017 when they flipped him to the Tampa Bay Rays for Drew Smyly. Two seasons later, Jerry Dipoto made a move for Mallex Smith in late 2018. This time, it was for him to stay.
The Seattle Mariners received the speedy Mallex Smith, and also an outfield prospect, Jake Fraley. For those two players, the Mariners gave up three players: Mike Zunino, Guillermo Heredia, and Michael Plassmeyer. Smith just came off a career year batting .296, leading the league with 10 triples and stole 40 bases. Mallex Smith had looked really good with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2017 to 2018 and it seemed like a win for the Mariners.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Jerry Dipoto at the time was keen on adding a centerfielder and he wanted to lower the club’s large payroll. Dee Strange-Gordon was the centerfielder, so the addition of Smith was a much needed defensive upgrade. Jake Fraley was the Rays’ second-round pick in 2016 and was just 23-years-old.
In the trade, the Seattle Mariners got rid of the infamous Mike Zunino to a Rays team that needed a starting catcher. The Rays also received Heredia who was a decent role player for the Mariners, but he was expendable. Michael Plassmeyer was a 22-year-old former fourth-round pick in 2018. Now, let’s look at how Mallex Smith performed while in Seattle to close out his career with the Mariners.