Padres Trade Seth Smith To Mariners

The San Diego Padres have addressed their outfield surplus by trading Seth Smith to the Seattle Mariners for righthanded reliever Brandon Maurer.

The Padres offseason makeover continues — who would’ve believed, just three weeks ago, that they’d have “too many” outfielders before the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve? And that they’d STILL have “too many” outfielders after dealing away their 2014 top offensive performer? Even with Smith in Seattle, San Diego still has no room for Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, and Will Venable — though that could change if rumors of Wil Myers going to Philadelphia for Cole Hamels are true.

Though the Mets have already signed the legendary John Mayberry, Jr., I wonder if they’d take a flyer on Quentin, who has battled injuries for the past few years but, when healthy, was a middle-of-the-order slugger. He’s in the final year of his contract (though there’s a mutual option for 2016) and is due “only” $8M — that’s $750K more than the Mets paid Chris Young last year. Maybe the Padres would unload Quentin, and pay some of his salary, in return for a marginal prospect. I think that would be worth the gamble.

As for the Mariners, presumably, Smith will team up with recently acquired Justin Ruggiano to form a lefty-rightly platoon in one of the outfield corners.

In San Diego, the 24-year-old Maurer will provide bullpen depth. He’s a power arm who can reach the upper 90s and was recently converted from starting (see: Jenrry Mejia); some think he could eventually evolve into a closer.

In other news, the Padres and Yankees teamed up on an under-the-radar move — New York sent reliever Shawn Kelley to San Diego in return for pitching prospect Johnny Barbato. In Kelley, the Padres get yet more bullpen depth right now, while the Yankees add a 22-year-old flamethrower for their bullpen future. If nothing else, this swap further punctuates the fact that the Padres are “all in” for 2015.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. DaveSchneck December 31, 2014 at 12:47 am
    I think this deal can have implications for the Mets, in that Seattle now is much less likely to posture that it will shift Brad Miller to the OF. His LH bat at SS would make a nice compliment hedge to Flores, and I would be willing to part with some young pitching not named deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, Matz or Harvey for him. Maybe Dillon Gee plus a prospect arm.
    • Joe Janish December 31, 2014 at 1:36 pm
      Good point, Dave. It’s been hard to gauge the interest in Miller this winter, and, in turn, his value. The M’s seem to like his bat, and I wonder what it will take to pry him away — it depends, I suppose, on what Seattle thinks it still needs to get over the top. Do they need a veteran starter like Gee for depth? Couldn’t hurt, considering the youngsters in the rotation. But, would they prefer to sign a free agent at the same level as Gee, and keep Miller? I think Ryan Vogelsong and Aaron Harang are still available, among others.