With the start of a New Year, Major League Baseball’s offseason trades and free agent signings should heat up again.
On Friday, the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners made a small trade of one for one when Baltimore sent Yovani Gallardo a right-hander to Seattle for Seth Smith an outfielder.
The Orioles are also sending some cash to the Mariners to help cover the contract of Gallardo. Both teams released a statement confirming the trade.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said that Gallardo will give the team a much needed veteran presence. He has a good record of being durable and success as a regular starting pitcher.
Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette said that Seth Smith brings leadership, experience as well an accomplished bat to the team. Duquette added that the team was looking forward to the contributions Smith can make in the upcoming 2017 season.
Gallardo, who is 30, was 6-8 with an ERA of 5.43 in 23 starts over 118 innings for Baltimore in 2016. He missed time due to an injured shoulder. Gallardo agreed originally to a deal of three years with Baltimore and an option year, but the deal was reduced to two years and an option after they saw something concerning in his physical.
Seattle has now traded one player – Taijuan Walker – and acquired three – Rob Whalen, Chris Heston and Gallardo.
This trade was the second one between the two teams in the past six months. Prior to the trade deadline in 2016, Baltimore sent Gil Miranda to Seattle for Wade Miley a left-hander.
Smith, who is 34, had been reliable as a left-handed platoon player for a number of years. In 2016, Smith hit .249 with 16 homers. All 16 home runs hit by Smith in 2016 were against right-handers.
In the outfield, Baltimore is somewhat thin and Smith’s acquisition helps that. Adam Jones will be in center and Hyun Soo Kim in left.
Smith will play some right field as well as DH.
It should be noted that Baltimore saved a large amount of money, despite sending some to Seattle in the trade. The Orioles saved $4 million in the deal and give Duquette flexibility for one or two other moves.
Baltimore is still trying to retain its slugger Mark Trumbo and while the $4 million saved in the deal for Smith, is not enough to retain Trumbo, it gives them much more of a chance to sign others.