Drew Smyly to Undergo Tommy John Surgery
This past offseason, the Tampa Bay Rays sent Drew Smyly to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Mallex Smith. They have officially won that trade.
During this past offseason, Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry DiPoto had a vision of overhauling the team’s entire roster. He essentially did just that, completely revamping their outfield and pitching staff. One of the Mariners key moves to add depth to the rotation involved acquiring Drew Smyly from the Tampa Bay Rays, sending outfielder Mallex Smith over to Tampa Bay.
The Mariners were clearing hoping that Smyly would be healthy. While he made 30 starts in 2016, he just did not seem right, as he struggled to a 7-12 record with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.272 WHiP. However, his medicals came back clear, and Smyly was dominant during the World Baseball Classic, fueling the hope that he would be a key part of the Mariners hoped for return to the postseason.
Instead, Smyly would end up being sidelined by a strained flexor tendon in his pitching elbow. He had been resting the arm, and starting to rehab before being shut down with elbow pain. Yesterday, it was discovered that Smyly had torn his UCL, and will need to undergo Tommy John surgery. As the typical recovery time for the procedure is 12 to 15 months, it is highly doubtful that Smyly will ever pitch for the Mariners.
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This injury further compounds the Mariners rotation issues. Felix Hernandez returned from the disabled list on Friday, but Hisashi Iwakuma remains sidelined. Neither have been particularly effective when on the mound this season, although one has to wonder if that was due to injury or wear and tear. James Paxton, who carried the pitching staff at the start of the year, has begun to struggle. Smyly was a pitcher the Mariners desperately needed.
Meanwhile, the Rays received Mallex Smith, a dynamic outfielder who appears destined to be a key part of the present and future. Heading into last night’s action, he had produced a .329/.412/.412 batting line, stealing nine bases while causing havoc atop the Rays lineup. Add in his sterling defense, and Smith appears to be the exact type of player the Rays hoped he would be.
At this point, it is fair to say that the Rays won the Drew Smyly for Mallex Smith trade. As Smyly would be heading for arbitration for the final time, it seems unlikely that the Mariners would retain him, at least under his current financial obligations. Unless they sign him to a two year deal, with a lower salary for 2018, it would be unlikely that he will pitch for Seattle.
Next: Riding the Rays roller coaster
Drew Smyly is set to undergo Tommy John surgery. And with that operation, the Seattle Mariners will lose a pitcher they desperately needed this year.