The Athletics have sent right-hander Chad Smith outright to Triple-A Las Vegas, according to his transactions tracker at MLB.com. That indicates he cleared waivers after being designated for assignment earlier in the week.
Smith, now 28, was acquired from the Rockies in an offseason trade. Between the two clubs, he’s thrown 30 innings in the big leagues with an ERA of 7.20. His 23.2% strikeout rate is strong but he’s paired that with a 15.2% walk rate. It’s been a fairly similar story in the minor leagues. Smith has thrown 88 Triple-A innings dating back to the start of 2021, with a 4.50 ERA, 27% strikeout rate and 13.1% walk rate.
The 29 other clubs had a chance to grab Smith off waivers but all took a pass, which means he will stay in the Athletics’ system as non-roster depth. He lacks the requisite service time or previous career outright to reject this assignment and elect free agency. If he can improve his command and get back to the big leagues, he still has a couple of option years, one of which will be burned here in 2023. He also has less than a year of major league service time. But if he doesn’t get his roster spot back by season’s end, he’ll qualify for minor league free agency.