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Gallardo traded for OF Seth Smith

Seth Smith brings a solid left-handed bat to the Orioles who will likely be put in a platoon situation, but would wind up being a full-time corner outfielder.

Having searched for a corner outfielder, a left-handed hitter and reliable on-base guy all offseason long, the Orioles may have found all three wrapped in one in Seth Smith. On Friday the Orioles traded veteran pitcher Yovani Gallardo to regular trade partner Seattle for Smith, who last year had one of the best seasons his his career.

Smith hit 16 home runs and reached base at a .342 clip while also being a more than serviceable defensive option in the outfield. The Orioles have long been interested in Smith and they finally found a way to get in on the team.

The Orioles signed Gallardo to a three-year $35 million deal last offseason but an injury plagued season led to his worst year as a professional pitcher. Gallardo took the hill for just 118 innings, by far the fewest since he became a regular innings eater in 2009, and posted a career-low 85 strikeouts with a career-high 5.42 ERA. Gallardo didn’t have a shutout appearance and allowed just one earned run only four of his 23 starts.

Gallardo may still have been able to be a quality innings eater with a healthy season, but with over-the-hill veteran pitchers like Ubaldo Jimenez and Wade Miley both on the staff there was no need to keep a third similar type of pitcher. Gallardo clearly had the most value and easiest contract to move.

The Orioles will likely move forward with Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy as the leaders of their rotation while Jimenez and Miley fill the back end of it.

With another career-type year for Smith he could become an every day starter in the outfield for the Orioles, but more than likely he will be a Nolan Reimold-type spot starter and platoon outfielder. Smith hit all 16 home his home runs against right-handed hitters last year and batted .256 against them as opposed to just .167 against lefties. Reimold had a .263-.183 righty-lefty split last year but only hit six home runs in 2016.

Smith was Seattle’s best hitter with runners in scoring position last year, hitting .326 in that situation. He is set to earn $7 million in 2017 and can become a free agent after the season. In order to balance out the contract difference between Smith and Gallardo the Orioles will pay the Mariners $2 million, split into $500,000 payments on May 1, July 1, Sept 1 and Nov 1 in 2017.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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