New York Mets Reliever Drew Smith Could Be Traded
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The New York Mets are actively seeking to bolster their starting pitching rotation, but it appears that they may also be parting ways with a key reliever.
According to a report by The New York Post’s Mike Puma, right-handed pitcher Drew Smith is being considered as a potential trade candidate. The Mets have been engaging in discussions with teams interested in Smith ahead of the deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.
While the Mets are not obligated to reach an agreement with Smith immediately, they must tender him a contract by 8 p.m. to retain his services. However, it seems that president of baseball operations David Stearns, who has yet to make a trade since assuming his role, is exploring the possibility of moving Smith to a team that may value him more.
Smith, who is entering his last season of arbitration, earned $1.3 million last year. MLB Trade Rumors projects that he could earn $2.3 million in his final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent.
After establishing himself as a key member of the Mets’ bullpen in 2021 and 2022, Smith experienced a downturn in performance during the 2023 season, particularly in terms of his earned run average (ERA) and walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP), which stood at 4.15 and 1.40, respectively. However, he did manage to strike out an impressive 9.6 batters per nine innings over 56 1/3 frames. It is worth noting that Smith’s Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) mark in 2021 (4.69) and 2022 (4.33) was closer to his ERA last season.
Throughout his five-year career, all spent with the Mets, Smith has maintained a solid 3.53 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and an average of 9 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9). He was acquired by the Mets in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017, with Lucas Duda heading the other way.
As the Mets explore potential trades, rumors continue to swirl around the team. In other news, the Mets are also in need of additional starting pitchers, and it is expected that a hard-throwing ace may be on the trading block.
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