Jerry Dipoto simply doesn’t know when to stop. In case you missed it, the Mariners made a pair of trades today (again). In the first, they acquired OF Mallex Smith and RHP Shae Simmons from the Atlanta Braves for LHPs Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows. In the second trade, they flipped OF Mallex Smith, LHP Ryan Yarbrough, and INF Carlos Vargas to the Tampa Bay Rays for LHP Drew Smyly.
So in essence...
LHP Drew Smyly
RHP Shae Simmons
LHP Ryan Yarbrough
LHP Luiz Gohara
LHP Thomas Burrows
INF Carlos Vargas
Got it? Cool. Let’s see what everyone had to say about the moves. First, here are the statements by Jerry Dipoto.
#Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto on the acquisition of Shae Simmons and Mallex Smith. pic.twitter.com/OmnFA2DTsF— Mariners (@Mariners) January 11, 2017
#Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto on the acquisition of starter @SmylyD. pic.twitter.com/IIiWuX6rbn— Mariners (@Mariners) January 11, 2017
And some other musings from the general manager...
Dipoto on Smyly: "He's a guy who throws strikes, misses bats and fits our ballpark really well...fits us like a glove, really."— Mariners (@Mariners) January 11, 2017
Dipoto: "I've probably spent more time through the course of the offseason trying to acquire Drew Smyly than any other player."— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) January 11, 2017
After today's trades, #Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto says this is the team. Any further moves will be for minor-leaguers or backups.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) January 11, 2017
Mariners now will most likely give Miranda the opportunity to compete for the 2nd lefty spot in the pen.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) January 11, 2017
Travis Sawchik at Fangraphs had some fun things to say about Simmons.
Simmons doesn’t headline the trade, but he’s an intriguing component of it at a time when the industry is paying premium prices for relief help.
A 22nd-round pick by the Braves in 2012 out of Southeast Missouri State, Simmons rose from obscurity to become the Braves’ second-best prospect by WAR prior to the 2015 season.
Prior to that 2015, former FanGraphs prospect analyst Kiley McDaniel ranked Simmons as the Braves’ No. 15 prospect and was given a “poor man’s Craig Kimbrel” comp on Simmons.
Dave Cameron thinks these trades might just put the M’s over the top.
When I looked at the Mariners on Monday, I saw a team with an average-ish offense and a potentially great outfield defense, but a weak rotation and a questionable bullpen. With Smyly in the rotation and Simmons potentially in relief, both parts of the pitching staff have been improved, and you can now see a playoff-caliber pitching staff without squinting too hard, especially when you factor in the help these guys will get from their teammates.
Drew Smyly isn’t an ace, and the Mariners added two more high-risk players to a team that already had a lot of risk, but this team now looks like their playoff hopes are more than just hope-a-bunch-of-things-go-right. With another quality starter and a potential quality reliever, plus a solid group of position players, the Mariners look like contenders now.
Talking Chop was excited about the prospects coming to the Braves system.
The prize of the deal for the Braves is Gohara although Burrows is no slouch either. Luiz struck out 81 batters in 69.2 innings and features a low to mid 90s fastball with reports that he can go even higher that that , a slider that is improving but he has had trouble locating early on in his career, and a changeup that could be above average to plus. He also lost a bunch of weight this past season and many saw 2016 as a breakout campaign for him. He was #5 on the Mariners prospect list according to MLB Pipeline. Others have had him even higher than that.
After the first trade, many in the Seattle community were skeptical. But the Smyly acquisition quickly changed everyone’s moods.
Drew Smyly had the 2nd-highest fly ball rate in #MLB last season. New, turbo jet #Mariners outfield is a perfect match.— Aaron Goldsmith (@heygoldy) January 11, 2017
Ryan Yarborough is 2 1/2 years younger than Drew Smyly and has never pitched above AA. For at least two years of Smyly I feel very good.— John Trupin (@JohnTrupin) January 11, 2017
Drew Smyly a massive get for M's. Solid but unlucky in 16; hitters batted unrealistically high .331 AVG-.379 SLG on ground. 3S w/upside.— Anthony P. Blengino (@tonyblengino) January 11, 2017
Staple these moves together and the Mariners are absolutely a better team in 2017. Didn't mortgage anything big. Works for me.— Scott Weber (@scottyweebs) January 11, 2017
An underrated part of all these moves Dipoto is making? Extra bullpen arms.— Good News Joe™ (@JoeVeyera) January 11, 2017
Zac Curtis, Dean Kiekhefer, James Pazos, now Shae Simmons.
Jerry Dipoto and crew handled this offseason about as well as one could expect. Could not agree with the approach more.— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) January 11, 2017
Some remain cautious about the team’s outlook.
If true this team's most likely outcome is 2014/16. Could be good enough with some breaks, but not one of the best in MLB. https://t.co/SmanMuPUOV— Nathan Bishop (@NathanHBishop) January 11, 2017
This is fun/okay but it sure makes me hate that Gallardo trade even more.— Andrew Rice (@Andrew_Rice) January 11, 2017
Call me selfish but I want one more bat/rotation piece. A catcher would be cool.— David Skiba (@SkibaScubaShop) January 11, 2017
So it appears that the Smyly move completes the team’s offseason. How do you feel about the team’s roster right now?