Sign and trade deals are more common to the NBA where a long-standing collective bargaining agreement provision enables the club re-signing a player to pay more than would be available from another club, but that didn’t stop the Colorado Rockies from first working out a one-year deal with Seth Smith and then dealing him to the Oakland Athletics for Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso.
Smith’s deal avoids arbitration for the outfielder. He’ll make $2.415 million in 2012, an increase of 462.9% over his salary of $429,000 last season. His 2012 compensation is almost double the combined salary of $1.239 million he earned over his first three seasons in the league.
Smith, who will be in his age 29 season in 2012, joins a rebuilt Oakland outfield after the departure of Josh Willingham and the trade that sent Ryan Sweeney (along with closer Andrew Bailey) to Boston for Josh Reddick and minor leaguers Miles Head and Raul Alcantara. The A’s re-signed Coco Crisp earlier in the offseason.
Last season, Smith posted a .284/.347/.483 batting line with 15 home runs in 533 plate appearances. He moves from the friendly hitting confines of Coors Field to the expanse of Oakland’s McAfee Coliseum, where his production may suffer.
Outman brings a big league 8-8 record over 151.1 innings pitched to Colorado. In bits of three seasons he’s made 25 starts and pitched respectably, allowing 149 hits and issuing 56 walks while striking out 107. Outman is the only player of three Oakland received from the Phillies for Joe Blanton to reach the majors.
Moscoso gets moved for the second consecutive January. Last year the Rangers dealt him to Oakland for minor leaguer Ryan Kelly. He posted a solid but unremarkable 8-10 record with a 3.38 ERA. Credit a chunk of the nifty ERA to the forgiving dimensions of the Coliseum. His peripherals suggested a tendency to regression with just 74 strikeouts in 128 innings against 102 hits, 38 walks and 14 home runs.
The trade leaves just Dexter Fowler among Rockies arbitration eligibles. Oakland has Brandon McCarthy and oft injured Joey Devine as its pair to sign prior to facing the arbiters in February.
Continuing coverage of Baseball’s Arbitration Season can be found on the Biz of Baseball.com. Today is the deadline for clubs and players to agree on contracts or submit figures to a panel of arbiters for hearings to be held in February. Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown posted posted the list of 142 players who filed for arbitration on Saturday.
Joe Tetreault is a contributor to the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He can be contacted here through The Biz of Baseball
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