The MLB hot stove has cooled a bit, but the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners have worked out a mutually beneficial trade.
With spring training already around six weeks away, the MLB offseason is quickly coming to an end. There are still some bigger-name free agents yet to be signed, and on Friday the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners finalized a trade.
Gallardo had a rough time in his lone season with the Orioles, with a 5.42 ERA over 23 starts (118 innings). But prior to that he made at least 30 starts and pitched at least 180 innings in seven straight seasons, and Gallardo should fit in as a mid-rotation innings eater for the Mariners after the offseason trade that sent Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Orioles have been in the market for an outfielder this offseason, and they have yet to re-sign reigning major league home run champion Mark Trumbo (47 home runs in 2016). Smith is strictly a platoon option as a left-handed hitter, but he has a career slash-line of .272/.355/.472 against right-handers and all 16 of his home runs for Seattle last season came against righties.
The Mariners will also receive some cash considerations in the deal, to help offset the difference in Gallardo and Smith’s contracts. Smith is entering the final year of his contact, at $7 million, while Gallardo is due to make $11 million in 2017 with a $13 million team option ($2 million buyout) for 2018. Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun has reported the Orioles will ultimately save $4 million in salary by making the trade. That suggests they are covering Gallardo’s buyout, and the Orioles also now theoretically have more flexibility to add players over the rest of the offseason.
The Orioles and Mariners both filled needs by swapping Gallardo and Smith. If things work out, particularly health-wise for both guys, everybody should be happy with the deal.