Last week, there were two trades in a matter of hours? Minutes? Usually, I just lump these deals together because I’m constantly a week behind – a byproduct of this being the playoffs and my football posts taking precedence – but these deals actually go together:
- Mariners trade Luiz Gohara & Thomas Burrows to Atlanta for Shae Simmons & Mallex Smith
- Mariners trade Mallex Smith, Carlos Vargas, & Ryan Yarbrough to Tampa for Drew Smyly
Gohara and Burrows are a couple of low-level minor league pitchers with not a lot of experience, but some real potential. Mallex Smith is another speedy, Quad-A outfielder type (of which this team already has a hundred billion). Yarbrough was our AA pitcher of the year, but projects to be maybe a 5th starter in a Major League rotation if everything breaks right. Vargas is a 17 year old infielder. At worst, this is a deal that will come to bite us in the ass in 3-5 years, if some of these prospects actually pan out. Obviously, the Mariners don’t have time to wait around for a bunch of low-level prospects to MAYBE turn into actual players, so the rationale behind these moves – if nothing else – is sound.
Shae Simmons is a right handed reliever to throw onto the pile. Just like toilet paper and Bud Lights, you can never have too much! Eventually, we’re going to work our way through all these relievers until the job gets done! Simmons doesn’t have a ton of Major League experience, but he does have some, so you could say he’s ready to compete right now. And, he also has options, so we can stash him in Tacoma until the time is right. His boggle sounds like he can’t stay healthy, so that kind of stinks, as it seems like we have a lot of those types of guys in our bullpen pile right now.
Obviously, the big “get” out of these moves is starter Drew Smyly. He looked like he’d be an absolute stud coming out of Detroit, but then they traded him to Tampa, he’s suffered some shoulder issues, and last year wasn’t totally amazing even though he lasted the full season. Nevertheless, a good outfield defense should help him, as well as playing half his games at Safeco (although, oddly enough, Safeco was a home run paradise last year, so who knows?).
We didn’t bring him in to compete, though. This sets our rotation, in some way shape or form:
That’s … not the worst. I only put Smyly in the 5-hole because I think the team will look to separate Paxton and Smyly so as to not have two lefties pitch on back to back days. Really, after Felix, you can shuffle that rotation anyway you want – as long as you split the lefties – and you should be fine.
I like it! I could be wrong, but I like it. Obviously, the first thing that stands out is that it’s VERY veteran. That’s a good thing, in the sense that we won’t have to worry about young pitchers and their emotions (I’m looking at you, Taijuan Walker). But, between injury concerns for every one of those guys, not to mention recent bouts of ineffectiveness for every one of those guys, and you’ve got a volatile mix that could lead the Mariners to upwards of 90-100 wins, or that could fall apart and drag this team down to the 70-80 win range.
How does that work for you? If I told you right now that the Mariners will win somewhere between 70-100 games, what would you say?
I’m sorry, but the correct response you were looking for was, “No doi.”
Still, it feels better with these five guys than it would have with Walker and Karns. I just don’t trust Walker to save my life, and I think Smyly is definitely a steadier, more sensible option. And, I think Gallardo – warts and all – is a better option than Karns. Then, we’ve got Ariel Miranda in reserve for the inevitable rotation injury. We just have to hope there aren’t too many injuries at once. There isn’t much depth left behind Miranda, and Yarbrough theoretically would’ve been one of those guys, as he was slated to start the season in Tacoma after doing so well in AA. Cody Martin was DFA’d to make room on the 40-man as a result of these deals, so he’s likely out unless no one picks him up. The only other AAA guy I’m even remotely aware of is that Rob Whalen guy we got in the Alex Jackson deal with the Braves. Not for nothing, but considering the sorry state of the Braves these last few years, it’s not encouraging to be getting all these guys from them in trades.
But, let’s worry about depth when it comes time to actually see it pitching in a Mariners uniform. For now, the roster is mostly set, although the last time I wrote that, the Mariners almost immediately went out and made two more trades, so what do I know?