Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 1/16/12

It seemed like only a matter of time until Seth Smith was shipped out of Colorado. The Rockies have depth in the outfield and the demand for a player of Smith’s caliber was there. A suitor finally stepped forward Monday, as the Oakland Athletics acquired Smith in exchange for starting pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman.

The acquisition is just another in a makeover offseason for the A’s. Billy Beane spent much of December and early January bringing in a bevy of young starting pitchers to fill the starting rotation between Brad Peacock, Tom Milone and Jarrod Parker. Monday, Beane shifted his attention back towards the outfield, and by trading a couple of surplus pieces, he landed the final piece of what could be a surprisingly good outfield corps in 2012.

In Colorado, Smith was largely limited to a platoon role, but it was one he filled quite well. In three seasons and change, he managed a .275/.348/.485. Even with the lift provided by Coors Field, Smith was a clearly above-average hitter, sporting a 113 wRC+. Although his fantasy numbers will certainly take a hit on the move from Colorado to pitcher-friendly Oakland, the characteristics that made him an above-average hitter — good (not great) power and slightly above-average contact and walk rates — shouldn’t disappear.

The bigger question will be how Smith handles everyday at-bats should the Athletics commit to him in a full-time role in left field. The Rockeis were careful to limit his exposure to left-handed pitching — of his 1449 career plate appearances, 1209 (83.4%) have come against right-handers, as opposed to the league average of 70.4%. Smith’s splits show this was done for good reason — in his 240 plate appearances against righties, Smith only owns a .202/.269/.319 line. Although the split is likely exaggerated due to sample size, the split is so huge — 115 points of wOBA — it isn’t difficult to envision Smith struggling mightily against right-handers in an expanded role.

Perhaps this explains why the asking prices never quite matched up with teams like the Braves, Rays, or Reds. The Rockies may have been asking for value equivalent to a full-time starting left fielder, whereas these teams — all playoff contenders — were all unwilling to part with said value in exchange for a big question mark in nearly one-third of his plate appearances as a starter.

As the market collapsed, the Athletics were able to pounce, giving up two surplus starters with shiny ERAs and little else. For a minimal cost, the Athletics picked up a good platoon outfielder with the chance to earn a role as a starter. It’s but a small step forward in Oakland’s rebuilding process, but every little bit counts, and the A’s are in better shape now than they were this morning.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker