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 sportspressnw.com 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.”