Rockies outfielder Seth Smith remains one of the more attractive hitters on the trade market, and club officials still want to trade him for a No. 4 starter or perhaps a second baseman, major-league sources say.
To this point, the Rockies have yet to find a match, but they continue to talk about Smith, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time and has drawn interest from more than a half-dozen clubs.
Smith, 29, had an .830 OPS in 533 plate appearances last season. His home-road splits were fairly even, but he batted only .217/.272/.304 against lefties and regressed defensively, scouts say.
Still, Smith profiles as a reasonably appealing solution for teams in need of offense, especially considering that he is under club control for three more years.
The Rays, who are open to trading right-hander Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis, would appear an obvious fit, but Smith is a near-duplication of one of the team’s left-handed hitting outfielders, Matt Joyce.
The Athletics, another club that likes Smith, might be a more logical partner - they still need outfielders and have a number of starters who could appeal to the Rockies, including left-hander Josh Outman and righty Tyson Ross.
The Mariners, too, have interest in Smith, but their most expendable starter, lefty Jason Vargas, is a fly-ball pitcher whose stuff probably would not play well at Coors Field.
Talks with the Braves cooled when the teams could not agree on the pitching prospect that the Rockies would include with Smith to get Martin Prado, sources say.
The Indians, Red Sox and Mets are among the other teams that have shown varying levels of interest in Smith.