The Braves continue to make moves to try and improve the ball club, but this move is focused more on the future than right now. The Braves twitter account announced the move officially in this tweet:
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) January 11, 2017
Mallex Smith, a young prospect with great talent, is headed to Seattle along with Shae Simmons. Even though the Braves are lacking in bats in their farm system, Smith became the odd man out in what became a crowded outfield. Ender Inciarte cemented his role as the starting center fielder of the future with his stellar 2016 season, leaving Smith dispensable, and the Braves have not been hesitant in stockpiling pitchers.
Atlanta received two young pitching prospects in return from the Mariners, adding to their already incredibly deep stable of pitching prospects in their farm system. As the tweet stated, Luiz Gohara was the Mariners third best prospect in their farm system according to baseball America. He looks to be the real prize in this deal. Gohara combined to throw 69.2 innings with a 1.81 ERA over A ball last season. He is still only 20 years old and will be one of the Braves top pitching prospects entering 2017. With the Braves young pitching struggling in 2016, it is clear you can never have too many arms.
It is tough to part ways with a young talent like Smith, but the outfield became too crowded, and Smith was not going to see much playing time if any in the majors. It may work out better for his career as well to move to Seattle, but from the Braves’ perspective, they have added yet another great young arm to their farm system.