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Indians, Mariners, Mets complete trade12/11/2008 12:31 AM ET
CLEVELAND, OH -- The Cleveland Indians today announced a 3-way trade between the Indians, Seattle Mariners and New York Mets.
The Indians have acquired RHP JOE SMITH from the New York Mets and INF LUIS VALBUENA from the Seattle Mariners, sending OF FRANKLIN GUTIERREZ to the Mariners in the three-team deal. Smith, 24, spent the entire 2008 season in the Mets bullpen, going 6-3 w/a 3.55 ERA in 82 games (63.1IP, 51H, 25ER, 31BB, 52K, 4HR), limiting Major League hitters to just a .220 (51-232) average allowed. Right-handed hitters batted just .192 (35-182) off him as he sported a .206 (14-68) average against overall with runners in scoring position. He finished tied for 3rd in the National League with 82 appearances and his inherited runners scored percentage of 17% (11 of 63) was the 2nd best mark in the NL (6th best in the Majors). He went a club relief record 4-0 in September w/a 1.80 ERA in 14 appearances (10.0IP, 6H, 2ER, 11K).
The 6-2, right-hander owns a career Major League record of 9-5 w/a 3.51 ERA in 136 appearances with the Mets over the last 2 seasons (107.2IP, 99H, 42ER, 52BB, 97K, 7HR, .243AVG) after being selected by New York in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft out of Wright State University. Joe was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Valbuena, who just turned 23 on November 30, split the 2008 season between Double A West Tennessee, Triple A Tacoma and the big leagues with Seattle. He began the season in West Tennessee before being promoted to Tacoma on June 28, hitting a combined .303 (137-452) with 84 runs scored, 21 doubles, 2 triples, 11 homers and 60 RBI in 128 games between the two stops. He also stole 18 bases and his .303 batting average was 6th best in the Mariners system. He had a 15-game hitting streak in June before his promotion. His combined OPS between the two stops was .813 (.382 OB%/.431SLG%).
The Zulia, Venezuela native then made his big league debut with the Mariners in September, hitting .245 (12-49) with 5 2B, 1RBI and 6 runs scored in 18 games. Valbuena signed his first professional contract with the Mariners in August of 2002 as he now owns a career minor league batting average of .245 (580-2107) with 120 2B, 25 2B, 42HR, 260RBI and 78 steals in 588 games since 2003. He is currently hitting .280 (28-100) with 7 2B, 2 3B, 4HR & 18 RBI (.510SLG, .843OPS) for Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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