Orioles fill one hole, create another with Gallardo swap

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo might fare better in Seattle, but how will the Orioles replace him in their rotation? Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

There’s an impact to the Baltimore Orioles’ trade of starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for right fielder Seth Smith that's not limited to those two teams. The O’s deal abruptly ends their trade discussions with the Mets on both of New York’s available outfielders, Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson. It also ends their discussions with free-agent outfielders like Michael Saunders and Angel Pagan.

Smith fills the Orioles’ hole in right field, at least as a platoon starter against right-handed pitchers. He has a career slash line of .272/.355/.472 with 104 home runs against right-handed pitching and a slash line of just .202/.282/.312 with only nine home runs against left-handed pitchers. Smith contributed just 0.5 WAR last year, his lowest mark in three years, but he did hit 16 home runs with a career-high 63 RBIs for the Mariners.

The Orioles didn’t want to pay the price in trade that it would have taken to land Bruce or Granderson, and they liked Smith’s one-year, $7 million price tag better than the alternatives that were left on the market.