The Mariners finished off the 2014 calendar year by making a trade to help the big league club on Tuesday, sending former Tacoma pitcher Brandon Maurer to the San Diego Padres for veteran outfielder Seth Smith.
Maurer struggled at the major league level as a starting pitcher, but he flourished after a move to the bullpen. San Diego will have to decide which role they want to use him in.
Smith is a left-handed hitter, and makes a nice platoon partner with recently acquired Justin Ruggiano. The duo should be able to handle right field for the Mariners.
Smith is coming off (arguably) the best season of his career last year – which is saying something, considering he had previously played in the thin air of Colorado and spent last year playing in the pitcher’s park in San Diego.
This deal, as all do, has an influence on the Rainiers: everybody just moved up a spot on the bullpen ladder, so at the moment it looks like Carson Smith has a spot in the big league bullpen and not Tacoma’s. Things can always change during spring training, though.
Lots more on the trade below.
- We’ll start with the news story on the trade from the Seattle Times.
- Jeff Sullivan writes that the trade was obvious.
- Matt Sussman had the best tweet of the trade.
- ESPN’s Christina Kahrl summed up the risk of trading Maurer: what if he becomes a decent starting pitcher, or a star closer?
- Grant Brisbee looked at the roster holes on every American League team and when he got to the Mariners he found none.
- Logan Bawcom cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Tacoma roster. We’ll ink a spot for him in the 2015 Tacoma bullpen.
- I was hoping he wouldn’t do this, but… Ryan Divish reviewed our preseason picks for 2014. Whoops!
- Signing Robinson Cano changed the course of the Mariners franchise, Bob Dutton writes. Dutton also has a blog post about areas the Mariners still need to address for 2015 – this was written before the Seth Smith trade, but it does include some other areas the team can still improve.
- Jerry Brewer writes that 2015 is the year the Mariners need to end their 13-year playoff drought.
- Prior to his annual rankings, John Sickels opened up a Mariners minor league system discussion thread.
- One-time Tacoma shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera signed with the Tampa Bay Rays – and this might create a road block for former Rainiers infielder Nick Franklin.
- Ex-Rainiers hitting coach Jeff Pentland emerged as a candidate for the Yankees job.
- The Yankees traded ex-Rainiers and Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley to the Padres.
- Former Rainiers pitcher Doug Fister tweeted out a Starbucks gift card for fans to use. It’s all used up now, but that was a cool holiday gift from Doug.
- At the end of every year, national columnist Jayson Stark writes an article on all of the bizarre things that happened in Major League Baseball. Here is his 2014 column.
- If you are interested in broadcasting, the New York Times did a story on the amount of preparation NBA announcers do before games. It’s the same deal in baseball.
- Fun stuff making the rounds on the internet: this Japanese variety show from 2006, in which Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and Bernie Williams try to hit against a variety of extreme trick pitches.
Have a safe New Year’s Eve, and we’ll be back on a regular blogging schedule starting Monday!