5:29pm: The Phillies have interest in Smyly, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury (Twitter link).
1:10pm: Veteran left-hander Drew Smyly has opted out of his minor league contract with the Brewers, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (on Twitter). Smyly had signed a minor league pact with Milwaukee back on July 1 after being cut loose from the Rangers.
Smyly made three starts with Milwaukee’s top affiliate in San Antonio, where he allowed seven runs on 10 hits (two homers) and three walks with 18 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings of work. It’s a small but slightly more encouraging showing than he had with Texas earlier in the year. Smyly, pitching in the big leagues for the first time since 2017 Tommy John surgery, was tattooed for an 8.42 ERA in 51 1/3 innings as a Ranger. While he averaged better than a strikeout per inning there, Smyly also walked 34 batters (6.0 BB/9) and served up a staggering 19 home runs (3.33 HR/9).
Prior to undergoing surgery, Smyly displayed a knack for missing bats and strong control skills, but home runs have long been an issue for him. He’s always been an extreme fly-ball pitcher, and the league-wide uptick in home runs hasn’t done him any favors in 2019. Smyly’s average fastball velocity is back to its career norm, and he’s avoided any trips to the injured list thus far, so it seems as though he’s back to full strength following that surgery. He’ll head back to the open market in search of a new opportunity with a club that has its eyes on some affordable rotation depth; any team that signs Smyly would only owe him the prorated league minimum for any time spent in the Majors.