The Mariners announced today that they’ve exercised their $7MM option on outfielder Seth Smith and declined a $4.25MM option on catcher Chris Iannetta. FanRag’s Jon Heyman first tweeted that Smith’s option would be picked up, and SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweeted that Iannetta’s would be declined.
Smith, who turned 34 at the end of September, proved to be a useful platoon bat for the Mariners, hitting .249/.342/.415 with 16 home runs and a healthy 11 percent walk rate on the season. To say that he was heavily shielded from facing left-handed pitching would be something of an understatement, as Smith received just 33 plate appearances against southpaws compared to 405 against righties. The reasoning behind the move isn’t hard to determine however; Smith has mashed at a .272/.355/.472 clip throughout his career when he holds the platoon advantage but has looked lost against left-handers, as evidenced by a career .202/.282/.312 slash against same-handed pitchers.
On the defensive side of the coin, Smith’s contributions to the team didn’t draw favorable reviews. Both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating pegged him as a poor left fielder and a roughly average right fielder. Smith has never been known for his glove, but this year’s poor marks in left field came in a fairly small sample, and he’s been largely adequate there over the bulk of his career per those same metrics.
As for Iannetta, the 33-year-old got off to a hot start with the Mariners in 2016 and looked to be working his way toward triggering a vesting option for the 2017 season based on his strong play through the season’s first two and a half months. As of June 16, Iannetta was batting a very respectable .247/.348/.412 through 198 trips to the plate. However, his production thereafter cratered, and as a result his playing time diminished. Iannetta received just 140 plate appearances from that point forth, in part due to the return of Mike Zunino but also due to the .160/.237/.216 slash line to which the veteran limped.
Iannetta was a well-above-average bat for the Rockies and Angels from 2008-14, but he’s now coming off a pair of dismal seasons at the plate that saw him bat a combined .199/.298/.332 in 655 plate appearances. Iannetta still possesses good discipline at the plate and a bit of pop from the right side of the dish, but he’ll probably have to entertain offers to be a backup catcher this winter after this 2015-16 run.
Braves, you hearing that? Chris Ianneta is on the market. If we can’t get antibody else, he’s not that bad
Hopefully Smith is just a bat off the bench and not someone Dipoto is going to count on to play in the field much. He is exactly opposite of what he says he wants in an OF’er fast and athletic. Dipoto needs to find some OFers and someone for 1st. Still don’t buy the guy we got for the guy who got the save in game 7 of the WS is the answer at 1st. He got fleeced in that deal IMHO.
Smith is purely a platoon bat, a team can’t field 8 guys who are going to play everyday, hit both righties and lefties, and perfectly fit the description of the type of player the team is seeking at that spot. Also, how did the Mariners get fleeced on the trade? Vogelbach still hasn’t played enough to say the Cubs have won the trade. Just because Montgomery got the save, which was only one out, does not automatically mean the Cubs fleeced the Mariners.
Just because the guy has short arms doesn’t mean he’s going to suck.
Lol I was mostly being a smart a$$ about it. I think Dipoto was trying for Schwarber and we will see down the road if he came close. I don’t think he is going to be an everyday 1st bm though because of the short arms but we will see he looks to be a DH and I still don’t think you trade a LH SP with Montgomery’s upside for a DH. I have been wrong before and you can laugh at me if I am wrong with this one. Time will tell.
I get gun shy when we make trades right now because we have been on the awful side of so many lately. Hopefully Dipoto can turn that around. I also want to see us keep and grow our young talent and not trade it for a quick fix that will hurt us down the road. The Gohara for Cozart trade is exactly the kind of trade the last 2 GMs would have made. Fill in a minor need with glaring needs unfilled and we might have made the WC might not but probably lost the game and lost one of our best young arms for a rental player. Marte has to get better but we lost more games because of poor OF play or 1st base play than SS. We also needed a bat off the bench that wasn’t Lind. Fix the big holes then worry about the small ones later. It was almost like fixing an over flowing toilet on the titanic and ignoring the gash from the ice berg. Hopefully we can fill some holes in the off season and make a run. It is time to hang a banner at Safeco.