BY SPNW Staff 05:04PM 12/30/2014

Mariners acquire OF Seth Smith for Maurer

The Mariners pulled the trigger on the Seth Smith trade Tuesday, acquiring the San Diego outfielder in exchange for 24-year-old RHP Brandon Maurer.

The Mariners acquired OF Seth Smith Tuesday from the San Diego Padres. / San Diego Padres

Continuing to re-invent themselves for 2015, the Mariners Tuesday traded RHP Brandon Maurer to the San Diego Padres for OF Seth Smith, a 32-year-old platoon outfielder they need to complement Justin Ruggiano, whom they acquired in a trade with the Chicago Cubs Dec. 17.

Smith is expected to get most of his starts in right field. Adam Lewis first reported on the potential trade for earlier Tuesday.

A target of the Mariners throughout the offseason, Smith slashed .266/.367/.440 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs last season, his first with the Padres. Smith scored 55 runs with 31 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs, 48 RBIs, a .367 on base percentage and .807 OPS in 136 games.

The left-handed hitter appeared in 102 games in left field (81 starts) and 43 in right (37 starts). His 2.6 wins above replacement was the second-best of his career.

“I think when you look at what Ruggiano can do against left-handed pitching, what Seth can do against right-handed pitching, I think it’s a good combination,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “That said, you let them go into spring training and let them play and see what happens.”

In parts of eight major league seasons, Smith is a career .265 (657×2479) hitter with 359 runs, 159 doubles, 26 triples, 85 home runs, 321 RBIs and an .800 OPS in 865 games with Colorado (2007-2011), Oakland (2012-13) and San Diego (2014).

“He doesn’t strike out a ton. He knows how to walk. He can give you a good AB,” Zduriencik said. “His on-base percentage this year was .367. He had a really good OPS. We think it’s a really nice fit for our ballclub.”

Maurer appeared in 38 games for the Mariners last season, including seven starts. He posted a 1-4 record with a 4.65 ERA. In 31 relief appearances, he had a 2.17 ERA (9 ER, 37.1 IP) with 38 strikeouts.

“It was a tough decision to trade Brandon,” said Zduriencik. “We think a lot of him. We know his value. We know his upside. He is a guy that I would have loved to hold on to. I think the issues with some of the (other) deals we were talking about, it was going to require multiple players . . . It’s no secret of where our offense has been the last few years.”

Maurer was selected by Seattle in the 23rd round of the 2008 amateur draft out of Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, CA.).

Smith signed a two-year extension with the Padres in July, getting $6 million in 2015 and $6.75 million in 2016, with a club option worth $7 million for 2017.

“We clearly think he can be with us for a few years, and we’re happy with that,” Zduriencik said. “That was a big component in the deal, getting someone that has the potential to be here for at least two years or possibly three. Or more.”


  • jafabian

    Sounds like the M’s will be platooning an OF position, either LF or RF depending on how someone is performing. A far cry from the stability of the Buhner/Griffey and Ichiro/Cameron/Winn days.

  • ksmyth

    It’s been ten years since then. This is the best outfield the M’s have fielded since at least 2009. The glass is definitely half full.

  • Tian Biao

    uh oh. the M’s made a move. given Z’s track record on trades, this is likely to be another loser. These are not the Seahawks, who generally know what they’re doing. These are the M’s, who are basically just pigeons waiting to be plucked.

  • RadioGuy

    I’m not as sold on this deal as I was on the Ruggiano trade, where the M’s only gave up a minor leaguer. Hard to say if Maurer was the present-day version of Brandon Morrow (who teased, but ultimately disappointed), but he sure looked good coming out of the bullpen after his call-up from Tacoma and you always hate to give up a 24-year-old pitcher who brings heat and usually throws strikes and getting a 32-year-old journeyman who is projected to be a platoon outfielder in return.

    Smith SHOULD help and I know he’s been on Zduriencik’s radar since he was in Colorado. This is not a bad trade…it’s basically is a swap of potential for proven, but solid, mediocrity. The M’s know what they’re getting.

  • sabasarge

    Tough trade. Mauer was, as mentioned here, really looking good once reinvented as a reliever where he could throw hard without reservation.
    I think we’ll regret this one.