Peter Schmuck

There are several good reasons why the Orioles like dealing with the Mariners

When Orioles owner Peter Angelos says his prayers every night, he should never forget to thank the Almighty for the Seattle Mariners.

The case can be made that the current Orioles renaissance can be traced to the deal that sent the oft-injured and often-unpleasant Erik Bedard to the Mariners for a package of players that included current cornerstones Adam Jones and Chris Tillman, as well as one-time All-Star closer George Sherrill.


Of course, it was also the Mariners who traded 2016 major league home run champion Mark Trumbo to the Orioles last winter for reserve catcher Steve Clevenger. We're all still trying to figure that one out, but you know what they say about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Now, the Mariners appear to have come through for the Orioles again, dealing solid left-handed-hitting outfielder Seth Smith to the Orioles for veteran starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo.


Smith is 34 and is no superstar, but he's the kind of player who fits right into manager Buck Showalter's flexible lineup philosophy. He's a decent on-base guy with some power who can play both left and right field, which should give the Orioles the ability to balance the lineup by putting left-handed-hitting outfielders on each side of Adam Jones against right-handed starting pitchers.

He's also the guy who hit a home run in every game of the Orioles four-game series at Safeco Field last summer.

The deal also will save the Orioles a reported $4 million in payroll this season and save them from the tough $13 million option decision they would have faced if Gallardo came back with a middling season this year after struggling with injuries and posting a career-worst 5.42 ERA in 2016.

If history is any guide, Smith will deliver a career offensive year at left-hander-friendly Camden Yards and leave Mariners fans wondering why their front office is so fond of upgrading the Orioles' roster.

No disrespect intended to Gallardo, who is a good guy who had an unfortunate first (and last) season in Baltimore. He might also benefit from his new surroundings, since Safeco Field is -- by some measures -- the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the American League.