The Mariners have acquired lefty Drew Smyly from the Rays for outfielder Mallex Smith, infielder Carlos Vargas and lefty Ryan Yarbrough, according to a club announcement.
Smyly is the second rotation addition in as many weeks for the Mariners, who acquired righty Yovani Gallardo from the Orioles for outfielder Seth Smith late last week. Smyly and Gallardo join Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and James Paxton in the M’s rotation, replacing Taijuan Walker, who was traded to the Diamondbacks in November.
The deal is the twelfth trade of the winter for the Mariners and the second of the day, as the club had acquired Smith and reliever Shae Simmons from the Braves for lefties Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows. Smith was acquired for the sole intention of being flipped to Tampa, serving as a centerpiece in the deal for Smyly.
Smyly is the second Rays’ starter to be traded in the last six months, joining southpaw Matt Moore, who went to the Giants at last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline. Tampa Bay has also shopped righties Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi, but appears likely to keep both after parting ways with Smyly.
Smyly, 27, struggled to a 4.88 ERA in 30 starts for Tampa last season and is a veteran of five major-league seasons. He is under club control through the end of the 2018 season.
Smith, 23, hit .238/.316/.365 with three homers in 72 games for Atlanta last season before being traded to Seattle and being subsequently flipped to the Rays. He joins Colby Rasmus as recent additions to the Rays’ outfield mix, giving the club some flexibility to potentially move Kevin Kiermaier before Opening Day.
Vargas, 17, hit .242/.344/.391 in 62 games for Seattle’s Dominican affiliate last year.
Yarbrough, 25, was a 4th-round pick for Seattle in the 2014 draft out of Old Dominion and pitched to a 12-4 record and 2.95 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A Jackson in 2016. The southpaw checks in as the Rays’ new 16th-best prospect, according to MLB.com, and projects as someone who could potentially reach the majors soon as a reliever.