The Orioles and Mariners each filled a need heading into spring training Friday with a swap of veteran players.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed to Seattle to play out the final year of his contract after a rough 2016, while lefty-hitting Seth Smith slots into the Baltimore outfield. Seattle also will receive cash considerations in the deal, the teams announced.
Gallardo, who turns 31 next month, battled shoulder issues last season and was limited to 23 starts while putting up by far the worst numbers of his career. After posting an ERA below 4.00 in eight of his first nine major-league seasons, Gallardo saw that number balloon to 5.42 while his strikeout-to-walk ratio dipped to a career-worst 1.39.
He was one of the more reliable starters in the majors during the early part of his career, so the Mariners will hope that he's healthy and able to recapture the form that once made him an All-Star for the Brewers. If that happens, then they'll have a veteran arm they can count on behind Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.
Gallardo is guaranteed $13 million — $11 million this season and a $2 million buyout of his 2018 option — while Smith will make $7 million in the final year of his deal. The Baltimore Sun reported the Orioles will save about $4 million in the trade, which means they will be sending $2 million to Seattle to help offset Gallardo's salary.
Smith, 34, joins his fourth team in five seasons. He figures to continue getting corner outfield starts against right-handed pitching, providing some power and getting on base. Smith has a .272/.355/.472 career slash line against right-handers compared to .202/.282/.312 against lefties, so don't expect Buck Showalter to let him see too many southpaws.