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Former Braves prospect Mallex Smith traded after breakthrough season

Former Braves prospect Mallex Smith was traded to the Seattle Mariners Thursday.

Smith, 25, stole a career-best 40 bases this year for the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .296, tied for the major league lead with 10 triples and had 40 RBIs.

The Rays sent Smith and minor league outfielder Jake Fraley to Seattle in exchange for catcher Mike Zunino, outfielder Guillermo Heredia and minor league left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer.

Smith played in 72 games for the Braves in 2016. He hit .238 with 16 stolen bases.

The Braves traded him to the Mariners in a deal that bought left-handed pitcher Luiz Gohara to the Braves. 

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Smith signed with San Diego in 2012, was traded to the Braves in December 2014 and was dealt by the Braves to the Mariners in January of 2017, then sent to the Rays on the same day in a trade that shipped left-hander Drew Smyly to Seattle.

His previous Seattle tenure lasted 77 minutes before he was sent to the Rays.

"I feel like it's a good fit. I feel like the team wants me," Smith said. "It's very comfortable when you know the team wants you. Jerry (GM Jerry DiPoto) has traded for me twice, so I feel like I'll fit in well here."

Heredia, who turns 28 in January, hit .236 with five homers and 19 RBIs in 337 plate appearances as a fourth outfielder for the Mariners this year.

Zunino, 27, was taken by Seattle with the third overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft and signed for a $4 million bonus. He hit just .201 this year but had 20 homers with 44 RBIs, down from a .251 average, 25 homers and 64 RBIs in 2017.

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