The Seattle Mariners made two trades on Friday. The first trade they sent outfielder Seth Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for starting veteran pitcher Yovani Gallardo.
This trade looks like another one the Mariners made with the Orioles dumping salary. Reading from the Orioles media perspective this was a surprise in them trading Gallardo to the Mariners. Smith is expected to play right field for the Orioles in the same manner he would have in Seattle. Orioles media wonder if Smith has lost speed and unable to play well defensively. In some respects Smith has lost speed to play semi-regular in Safeco Field which is a larger park than Camden Yards. Smith will play better in the field for the Orioles than he would for the Mariners at home. On the other hand he became very popular with the Mariner fans so he will be missed in that respect.
Gallardo seems to be the type of pitcher that general manager Dipoto is looking for in a veteran who had an off year after starting the season on the disabled list. Gallardo started twenty-three games last year with a 5.42 era. The previous two years with Milwaukee and then Texas he pitched almost two hundred innings with era under four. Also he doesn’t walk a lot of batters either. Pitching in Safeco he may do a better job and be back to his previous numbers.
Several hours later the Mariners traded pitcher Nathan Karns to the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Karns the Mariners traded for last off-season from the Tampa Bay Rays. He missed more than half of the season for the Mariners and was projected to be the fifth starter. Now that the Mariners got Gallardo he was no longer needed.
The Mariners picking up Jarrod Dyson from the Kansas City Royals they got a fourth outfielder with speed. Playing about one hundred games a year in his career with the Royals he did average about thirty stolen bases; his batting average last year was .278. He primarily put in the Royals lineup for his speed and his defense. As a veteran player he does give the Mariners more speed in the lineup along with his defense. With the Royals he did mostly play center field but with the Mariners he is likely play in right or left field though does allow the Mariners to rest Leonys Martin occasionally in center field. He does help with veteran leadership since the Mariners have young players to go along with Martin.
If you look at the roster of outfielders with the Mariners they all have history playing center field especially in the minor leagues. So the Mariners have improved a lot during the off-season on defense and speed. The question though is how well the Mariners hitting be from the outfielders. I expect that Dyson will even out for Smith.
According to Dipoto the starting outfield likely is Dyson, Martin and Haniger with Gamel and Heredia fighting for time. Danny Valencia will be the key when it comes to hitting because of the outfield and first base. Daniel Vogelbach is expected to be the left handed hitting first baseman however no one really knows how he will hit in the major leagues since his time has been in the minor leagues. The same goes for Gamel, Haniger and Heredia. This will be played out during spring training first of all than into the season.
I am sure that the Mariners will go and see if they can pick up another starting pitcher. Felix, Iwakuma, Paxton and Gallardo are in the rotation. The fifth starter will come from Miranda, Chris Heston the Mariners signed as a free agent who last pitched for the San Francisco Giants and Rob Whalen they got from the Atlanta Braves. Next week that could change and likely will. So Mariners we are looking toward spring training. Go M’s.