Padres trade Seth Smith for reliever Maurer
SAN DIEGO (AP) The San Diego Padres traded outfielder Seth Smith to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday in exchange for hard-throwing reliever Brandon Maurer.
Smith was left without a spot in the Padres outfield after San Diego's makeover that included the acquisitions of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers.
But Smith should have a significant role in Seattle, likely in an outfield platoon with Justin Ruggiano. The left-handed hitting Smith batted .266 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs last season. But against right-handed pitching, Smith hit .270 with all 12 of his home runs and an .815 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik wouldn't call his right-field situation a platoon but said Ruggiano's numbers against left-handed pitching and Smith's success against right-handers could make for a nice mix.
''We were in search of adding another outfielder. We've got a player that's a professional hitter, a guy that we think is going to give us really good (at-bats) especially against right-handed pitching,'' Zduriencik said.
Seattle also gets some time out of the trade. Smith, 32, is under contract through the 2016 season with a club option for 2017.
''One of the things we try and stay away from is giving up talent for one-year returns,'' Zduriencik said.
Maurer, 24, was originally a starter with Seattle last season but thrived after moving to the bullpen. Maurer made 31 relief appearances and had a 2.17 ERA coming out of the bullpen. Maurer had 38 strikeouts in 37 1-3 relief innings.