The Tampa Bay Rays kept the off-season moves going strong on Wednesday just 24 hours after signing free agent outfielder, Colby Rasmus. The Seattle Mariners struck a deal with the Rays to get LHP Drew Smyly in return for OF Mallex Smith, INF Carlos Vargas, and LHP Ryan Yarbrough.
Smith, 23, broke into MLB last season with the Braves and had, just an hour before being traded to Tampa, been acquired by the Mariners in another four-player deal with Atlanta. In 72 games in 2016, Smith hit .238/.316/.365. Smith brings a lot of speed and very reliable depth to the Rays outfield considering the injury-plagued years of Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza Jr, and newly signed Rasmus last season.
Vargas, 17, and Yarbrough, 25, pad the Rays prospect list and add depth at the minor league levels. Yarbrough, however, has a shot to begin the season at AAA Durham posting an impressive year at AA Jackson in 2016 pitching to the tune of 12-4 in 25 starts with a 2.95 ERA.
Smyly departs the Rays after coming over in the trade that sent David Price to Detroit back in 2014. His career numbers in Tampa amounted to a 15-15 record, 3.53 ERA, in 36 starts.
- The Rays also acquired OF Jason Coats off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and designated RHP Dylan Floro for assignment. Coats, 26, played in 28 games for Chicago in 2016.
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