Smith, a 28-year-old righty, has made brief appearances at the MLB level in each of the past two seasons. The Ole Miss product debuted with the Rockies in 2022, allowing 15 runs across 18 innings. Colorado traded him to the A’s a little more than a year ago. Smith pitched 10 times for Oakland, tossing 13 2/3 frames of 10-run ball. Between the two clubs, he owns a 7.11 ERA at the highest level.
While those aren’t especially impressive results, Smith has kept the ball on the ground at a huge 55.2% clip in his limited MLB time. He has posted high grounder marks throughout his professional career. Smith has also run decent strikeout numbers in the minors, including a 26.6% rate over three years in Triple-A.
That combination of whiffs and grounders has thus far been undercut by subpar control. Smith has walked more than 15% of batters faced in his big league time while handing out free passes at a 13.4% clip in Triple-A. His already alarming walk percentage spiked to 17.3% for the A’s top affiliate a season ago. That contributed to a 7.53 ERA over 35 appearances, leading Oakland to outright him from their 40-man roster at the beginning of the offseason.
The Mets have added a number of depth players in David Stearns’ first winter leading baseball operations. New York has signed Trayce Thompson, Rylan Bannon, Taylor Kohlwey and José Iglesias to non-roster deals, while Smith joins Cole Sulser, Kyle Crick, Cam Robinson and Andre Scrubb as minor league additions to the relief corps. The Mets have also added Yohan Ramirez, Michael Tonkin, Jorge López and Austin Adams to the 40-man roster via modest acquisitions.