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Braves trade Mallex Smith and Shae Simmons to Seattle Mariners

The Braves continue to trade off some of their prospect depth

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Well, so much for a completely quiet offseason.

This offseason has been interesting in that the Braves have been trading from their impressive prospect depth, but in very controlled ways. They acquired Jaime Garcia to provide a short-term bridge in the rotation as well as Alex Jackson as a high-ceiling bat in exchange for some prospects ranging from fringe top-30 guys to middle tier prospects. Not exactly Chris Sale level deals but hardly standing pat either.

That pattern continued today.

Mallex is a very fun player to watch and beloved by many fans, but his spot in Atlanta was tenuous given the outfield as it stands now. Kemp and Markakis are locked into their spots and the Braves just extended Ender Inciarte to play centerfield (Mallex’s ideal position) for the foreseeable future. His injury last year cost him at-bats and hopefully the trade will keep him from being stuck as a 4th outfielder type. Trading Shae Simmons was surprising given that he had just returned from Tommy John surgery and was highly thought of, but most projections of the Braves bullpen show a crowded field and Simmons could be seen as an expendable lottery ticket for the Mariners.

The prize of the deal for the Braves is Gohara although Burrows is no slouch either. Luiz struck out 81 batters in 69.2 innings and features a low to mid 90s fastball with reports that he can go even higher that that , a slider that is improving but he has had trouble locating early on in his career, and a changeup that could be above average to plus. He also lost a bunch of weight this past season and many saw 2016 as a breakout campaign for him. He was #5 on the Mariners prospect list according to MLB Pipeline. Others have had him even higher than that.

Thomas Burrows is a relief prospect with a really good fastball-slider combination with his fastball running away from batters and his slider getting strong reviews this past season as well. He doesn’t have another pitch so there isn’t any real hope of stretching him out, but could be a setup or closer in the majors if he continues to dominate and can get his walks down a bit.

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