The Mets and Angels are discussing trade scenarios centered around veteran righty Joe Smith, according to Marc Carig of Newsday (Twitter links). While Halos closer Huston Street is also in play, it doesn’t appear as if he’s drawing much interest from New York.
Smith, 32, is in the final season of his three-year pact with Los Angeles. He hasn’t pitched to his lofty former standards over the last two years, struggling especially early in 2016. On the season, he’s carrying a 3.96 ERA with just 5.9 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 — well off his usual numbers. He also missed time with a hamstring injury.
The results have turned up of late, though, as Smith has run off seven straight scoreless appearances. Rather remarkably, he hasn’t registered a strikeout in any of the last six — or issued a free pass. Smith is, instead, generating a ton of groundballs, driving his season rate up to 54.5% with his typical sinker/slider mix.
New York has long been said to be looking for pen reinforcements, and Smith would fit the bill given his track record and history of pitching in high-leverage innings. Though he has only been used in a closing role in spot duty, Smith has long featured as a regular eighth-inning setup man.