The story of former Seattle Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith
Mallex Smith elected free agency in October and was signed by the New York Mets
The Seattle Mariners outrighted Mallex Smith in September and elected free agency in October, making himself available to sign with other teams. The New York Mets made several moves in early November and Smith was one of those signings. The Mets signed Mallex Smith to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
With the signing, Smith’s time in Seattle officially came to a close after two seasons. The Mariners never were able to see his full potential unfortunately and had to move on from the 27-year-old outfielder. The team gave him a large role in 2019 and did okay for the most part.
During the 2019 season, Smith batted .227, .635 OPS, and hit only six home runs. His OPS+ was 73, and his offensive WAR was 1.0. He did however lead the league with 46 stolen bases, but the Mariners were expecting his 2017 and 2018 performance with the Rays where he batted well over .250.
Smith really struggled in 2020 and essentially got booted out of the rotation of outfielders. I think Jerry Dipoto wanted Mallex Smith to be a part of the Seattle Mariners rebuild had he played well, but he did not do enough to keep him in the organization. In 2020, he only appeared in 14 games and batted .133. Although he is usually a good outfielder, he turned into a liability in 2020.
With the young Seattle core emerging, Smith could not compete and had no place in Seattle. Smith now joins a Mets team that just changed ownership and is looking to change the culture. The Mets signed many veteran players to minor league contracts with the hope of fostering competition. Smith has a chance to showcase his skills and make the MLB team if he can play well.
Smith was unable to produce outside of stealing bases, so it will be interesting to see if he can repeat his performances when he was with the Tampa Bay Rays. To say the least, trading for Mallex Smith was a disappointing move.