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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: MALLEX SMITH DEALT AGAIN, DREW SMYLY GIVEN UP BY RAYS

There was some wheeling and dealing on Wednesday as MLB teams shore up their rosters as spring training inches somewhat closer.  Already having been dealt to the Seattle Mariners, outfielder Mallex Smith was on the move again as he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays in a deal that centered on pitcher Drew Smyly headed West.  Smith now joins Kevin Kiermaier is a supremely gifted defensive outfielder for the Rays who are obviously looking to win with pitching and defense.  That is what makes the Rays dealing away the still-young Smyly so telling terms of what they thought of him and his future prospects.  And that can be understood after Smyly suffered through a dreadful 2016 when he hit the DL yet again with more injuries and finished with an ugly 4.88 ERA.  Smyly was actually a guy I labeled a sleeper heading into last season as he finished strong with the Rays after coming over in a trade with the Tigers at the end of 2015 and his stuff generated a high amount of strikeouts.  Things certainly got off to an impressive start as Smyly was dominant in April as he pitched to a 2.60 ERA and striking out 41 batters in just 34. innings.  Unfortunately that was the high point of the season for Smyly who then posted ERA's over five in each of the next three months and finished with his horrid 4.88 mark.  Still Smyly having the ability to miss bats is always interesting but the fact the Rays and their history of really developing pitching dumped him says all you need to know about his future outlook.  So while he goes to spacious Safeco Field, Tampa Bay is also one of the better pitching parks in the game so that shouldn't factor in too much in his draft cost.

Meanwhile Smith's outlook remains the same in terms of having little-to-no power and massive speed.  He could be a 30-steal guy easy and make a run at 40 as well as long as he hits enough average-wise.  He should only have outfielder 3 value in 2017 fantasy baseball and nothing else until he shows consistency in his numbers.


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