Earlier today, the Seattle Mariners traded away Outfielder Seth Smith for the purpose of bolstering their rotation. Hours later, they managed to replace Smith, with Jarrod Dyson. In return, the Kansas City Royals will acquire starting pitcher Nate Karns.
Jarrod Dyson is a 32 year old center fielder entering into his final season before free agency. He will earn a raise on his $3.45 million salary that he earned last season. The Mariners will likely slot him in center field. Also spending some time in the Mariners outfield will be Ben Gamel, Guillermo Heredia, Mitch Haniger and Leonys Martin. Mariners' GM Jerry DiPoto cited Dyson’s speed and defense as his main incentive to acquire him.
In Karns, the Royals will receive a relatively young back-end starter who had seen success as recently as 2015, with Tampa Bay. Despite the gaudy 5.15 ERA last season, his peripherals were largely unchanged from 2015, as he came within .04 points of his 4.05 FIP. It also is worth noting that his numbers as a starter (4.56 ERA) were markedly better than his numbers coming out of the bullpen (8.78 ERA). A change of scenery could help Karns rediscover what helped him succeed in 2015.
I really like the Mariners on this deal. DiPoto has done an outstanding job of raising the talent floor of his team since taking over as GM last offseason. His moves aren’t typically flashy, but they get the job done and are typically the types of deals that work out for both sides. Dyson fits perfectly into Seattle’s plans and Karns was made redundant by the acquisition of Gallardo.