Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, expendable after the team signed Michael Cuddyer, is drawing trade interest from the Mariners, Athletics, Braves, Mets, and Rays, major-league sources said.
Smith could earn close to $3 million in salary arbitration, after posting a .284/.347/.483 line and 15 home runs in 147 games with the Rockies this year. The Rockies likely would ask for major-league-ready pitching or a second baseman in return for Smith.
Here’s how Smith, a left-handed-hitting corner outfielder, would fit with each of those teams:
Seattle. Smith would be a good complement for the right-handed Casper Wells in left field. The Mariners, who scored the fewest runs in the majors during each of the past two seasons, have a glaring need for run producers – particularly from the left side.
Oakland. A’s general manager Billy Beane must upgrade his subpar offense, and he has enough pitching to entice the Rockies. Smith would likely become Oakland’s everyday left fielder.
Atlanta. The Braves have been looking for a left fielder throughout the off-season, although they would prefer a right-handed hitter. And Atlanta has plenty of pitching depth to trade.
New York. The Mets aren’t certain about the makeup of their everyday outfield, and Smith would give them another left-handed bat for one of the corner spots. One problem: Smith’s best defensive position is left field, which is supposed to be Jason Bay’s position (at a $16 million salary).
Tampa Bay. If Rays general manager Andrew Friedman were to acquire Smith, he would have greater flexibility to make moves with his outfield.
— Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal