Seth Smith has the disadvantageous distinction of being the last out of the 2007 World Series. But this at-bat doesn’t define what Smith brought to the Colorado Rockies.
He was a player who made made his debut at the height of Colorado’s magical run to catapult the Rockies into the postseason. From there, Smith became a important piece in the outfield whether he was starting or platooning.
The Rockies got worse when Smith left. He was traded after the 2011 season to the Oakland A’s for Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman. The Rockies always seem to have a plethora of outfield talent and never enough pitching. So the trade for pitching on paper made sense but failed in execution.
Moscoso pitched 50 innings with Colorado with a 6.12 ERA. Outman had a 8.19 ERA in 2012. He fared better the next season but it was too little too late by then. Billy Beane once again easily won a trade. This trade seemed to be a precursor to the similar outcome of trading Dexter Fowler. A rising outfielder traded for mediocre at best pitching.
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The Rockies got rid of the guy who had five hits in eight at-bats in his seven games of the 2007 regular season. They got rid of the guy who hit .500 in the 2007 postseason. They got rid of a guy who got better and became a building block in some of the best Rockies teams ever.
In 2008, Smith played 67 games with a .259 batting average. He became much more of a force in 2009 and 2010 where he played 133 games in both years. In 2009, he hit a career high .293. In the playoffs that year, he played in all three games but wasn’t as much of a factor as 2007 with six plate appearances with one walk and one hit.
Smith’s final two years weren’t terrible with the Rockies but they weren’t his best. Trading him wouldn’t be unheard of but he was much more valuable than the return the Rockies got. Smith went on to reach the playoffs the next two years with the A’s. He was then traded to the Padres in 2014 where he had his best year of his career with a 4.0 WAR. His entire Rockies WAR is 3.2.
Over the offseason Smith was traded from the Mariners to the Orioles for Yovani Gallardo. Even though Gallardo had his worst season of his career in Baltimore, that is more of the pitching potential Smith is worth. He should have been on the Rockies much longer and should be remembered as one of the mainstays on two of the best Rockies teams ever.