Good morning, today is a bad Friday
The #Mariners have acquired RHP Yovani Gallardo and cash from Baltimore in exchange for OF Seth Smith.— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) January 6, 2017
Read: https://t.co/NduZ3zayKY pic.twitter.com/BVJTY9ECBg
Actually, it’s a terrible Friday. If you’re coming to the hoLLiday party tonight, allow me to apologize in advance.
On the surface, without any names, this trade sounds great. A platoon OFer for a pitcher who can slot into the starting rotation, plus a little cash? Sign me up. Ben Gamel + for Drew Smyly? Sure! Boog Powell and prospects for Anthony DeSclafani? Absolutely. But Seth Smith for Yovani Gallardo? Dan Duquette is cackling all the way into the postseason again. Tyson Ross has yet to be signed. Jason Hammel is still out there, if you’re into that kind of thing. Heck, Doug Fister’s still looking for a home! I’m baffled by the assessment that Yovani Gallardo, who’s name was cursed 4.5 times/second by Orioles fans during his starts last season, was the best arm the Mariners could acquire. The quote floating around now is that the Mariners FO is excited about adding “veteran presence” to the team, but they already traded for a 38-year-old catcher. How “veteran” does this team really need to be? To my knowledge AARP doesn’t offer special deals for MLB teams.
Okay, breath. Rationally speaking, this might not be catastrophic. I still think Baltimore comes out as the clear winner here, but there are benefits to be found. Simply, it’s far easier to replace a platoon OFer than it is to acquire a starting pitcher, particularly in this market. Gallardo is another bounceback candidate for Jerry, since he suffered from shoulder injuries last season and put up a catastrophic 5.04 FIP with a 4.65 BB/9 and was ultimately worth 0.6 wins in 118 innings. Oh wait, this is supposed to be the optimistic part, right? Oops. Okay, well, prior to his tenure with the Orioles, Gallardo was a 2-4 WAR pitcher for a solid seven years with the Brewers and the Rangers. There’s a chance that he heals from his injury and returns to form. And if you want to look low, low, low at Seth Smith you could say that the Mariners lost a middling defensive outfielder who slumped terribly in the final weeks (maybe kind of months) of the 2016 season. In truth though, Dad’s going to rake in Camden, and I think we all know that.
Prove me wrong, Gallardo. Transform yourself into a 2-3 WAR pitcher and make me eat my words. In the meantime I’ll just be existing here with a massive, minivan-shaped hole in my heart.
*Real analysis of this trade, coupled with a moving tribute to the #AllStarDad, will appear in the next week
**Author rec: do not read what Orioles fans are saying about this deal.