Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  By Grant Frickey  |  Last updated 1/12/17

The Seattle Mariners made another pair of trades on Wednesday, one with the Atlanta Braves, the other with the Tampa Bay Rays.

The first trade with the Braves brought the Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith, and right-handed pitcher Shae Simmons in exchange for a pair of left-handed pitchers Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows.

During his rookie season, Mallex hit .238 with three home runs and 22 runs batted in through 72 games in 2016 with the Braves. Mallex won’t ever spend a day in a Mariner’s uniform, however, as he would be part of the Mariners second trade of the day with Tampa Bay.

Shae Simmons, who will stay with Seattle, is a strong addition to the Mariners bullpen, having posted a career 2.54 earned run average through his first 33 games at the major league level. Through seven games in his 2016 September call up, Simmons allowed only one earned run through six and two-thirds innings of work.

The Mariners traded away left-handed prospects Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows. Gohara drastically improved in 2016, posting a 1.81 earned run average over 13 starts between low A and A ball. Compared to the 5.54 earned run average in 2015 between the same two leagues in just three more starts (16), Gohara made strides in 2016 increasing his strikeouts per nine innings while decreasing his walks, hits, and home runs per nine innings as well as his WHIP (walks+hits/innings pitched).

Thomas Burrows was the fourth round draft pick of the Mariners in 2016 out of the University of Alabama, and in 20 games at the low A ball level, he posted a 2.55 earned run average, allowing just one home run while finishing 17 games with 6 saves.

The second trade of the day that Seattle made with the Tampa Bay Rays brought left-handed starting pitcher Drew Smyly to Seattle.

Smyly posted a 4.88 earned run average over 30 starts in 2016. He threw a career-high 175.1 innings in 2016 and struck out a career-high 167 batters.  The Mariners had been targeting Smyly since seemingly before the offseason began, and finally pulled the trigger in a four man trade, sending Mallex, who they gained from the Atlanta trade, along with minor league infielder Carlos Vargas and minor league lefty Ryan Yarbrough to Tampa

More importantly, Smyly compliments the trades the Mariners made last week, rounding out the starting rotation that will likely include Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Yovani Gallardo, and Drew Smyly if everyone stays healthy. The rotation also has the depth of Chris Heston, acquired earlier in the offseason via trade with the San Francisco Giants, in the bullpen.  Heston was a starter for the Giants in 2015, pitching 31 games with a 3.95 earned run average and threw a no-hitter as well during his rookie season.

These two trades put the Mariners at a total of 11 trades this offseason. They have crossed almost every item off their to-do list including rebuilding the bullpen and starting rotation and upgrading the offense they already had.  The Mariners with their 11 trades and almost a dozen free agent signings (mostly minor league contracts) have not only placed themselves in a prime position to compete in the American League West, but also to make a push into October baseball as well.

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