It’s no surprise there are teams eyeing the controllable, effective Smith, but whether the Marins are open to dealing him is in question. Frisaro reported a month ago that the Marlins aren’t willing to give up Smith, who has been one of the few hugely successful trade additions they’ve acquired since Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter bought the franchise late in the 2017 season.
Smith, like Jeter, joined the Marlins after a run with the Yankees. The 27-year-old hurler threw 77 1/3 effective innings with the Marlins a season ago and has been even more impressive in 2019. Across 90 frames, Smith has recorded a 3.30 ERA/4.13 FIP with 11.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. While Smith’s 28 percent groundball rate ranks last among those who have thrown at least 90 innings this season, the home run ball hasn’t crushed him to this point. Smith has surrendered HRs on 15.2 percent of fly balls, which is below average but not ruinous.
Smith doesn’t throw particularly hard, evidenced by his 92.1 mph average, but hitters have nonetheless had difficulty squaring up against him. According to Statcast, Smith ranks in the 70th percentile or better in expected weighted on-base average against, exit velocity, fastball spin, expected batting average and strikeout rate. If that’s not appealing enough, Smith’s making what amounts to a minimum salary this season and won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2020 campaign.
All things considered, Miami would be within reason to request a ransom for Smith. However, assuming the Marlins haven’t changed their minds over the past month, they seem inclined to keep him.