Justin Smoak to AAA— Geoff Baker (@gbakermariners) July 24, 2012
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier this month that the Mariners had discussed demoting Smoak and second baseman Dustin Ackley, as each former top prospect was struggling at the major league level.
Heyman said nothing was imminent, but Seattle has finally decided to send the struggling 25-year-old back to the minors.
Smoak was acquired by the Mariners in July of 2010 in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers. The cornerstone of that deal for the Mariners, Smoak had been a top-25 prospect in the two seasons leading up to the trade.
Unfortunately for Smoak and the Mariners, his minor league success didn’t translate to the bigs. The former first-round pick has now collected more than 1000 at-bats at the major league level and only has a career line of .216/.298/.366 to show for it.