Thursday, November 8, 2018
MLB trade review: Rays acquire Zunino, Heredia for Smith
The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired C Mike Zunino, OF Guillermo Heredia and LHP Michael Plassmeyer from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for OF Mallex Smith and OF Jake Fraley.
For the Rays, I like this trade a lot. Zunino is a catcher with above average pop for his position, and won Wilson defensive player of the year honors at his position, just the night before the trade. His main downside is his inability to hit for average. Heredia is another good fielder, who is a classic 4th outfielder type. Plassmeyer is a prospect that could be valuable one day for the Rays.
Zunino, 27, hit .201 with 20 homers and 44 RBIs in 405 Plate Appearances for the Mariners in 2018. In his MLB career, all in Seattle, Zunino has a batting average of .207, with 95 homers and 241 RBIs in 2087 Plate Appearances.
Heredia, 27, hit .236, with five homers and 19 RBIs in 337 Plate Appearances in 2018. In his MLB career, only with the Mariners, Heredia has a batting average of .244 with 12 home runs and 55 RBIs in 770 Plate Appearances.
Plassmeyer, 22, had a 2.25 ERA, .83 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 24 innings for Low-A Everett, in his first professional season, 2018.
For the Mariners, they regain Smith, a quality, speedy outfielder who they had for 77 minutes pre-2017. They get rid of a catcher that couldn't get on base, and look for better options on the free agent market. They add a prospect in Fraley.
Smith, 25, had a .296 batting average, two homers, 40 RBIs and 40 stolen bases in 544 Plate Appearances for the Rays in 2018. In his MLB career for the Rays and Atlanta Braves, Smith had a batting average of .277 with seven homers and 74 RBIs, with 72 stolen bases in 1041 Plate Appearances.
Fraley, 23, had a .347 batting average, with four homers, 41 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 260 Plate Appearances for High-A Charlotte in 2018.
I think the Mariners win the deal. They trade two players that won't hurt them too much, plus a pitching prospect, for two speedy outfielders, one prospect, and one that can help them out a lot in 2019.