This afternoon, news broke that the Pittsburgh Pirates traded for New York Mets left-handed bullpen arm Josh Smoker, in exchange for minor league pitcher Daniel Zamora.
The Pirates have acquired left-handed relief pitcher Josh Smoker from the Mets in exchange for minor league pitcher Daniel Zamora. pic.twitter.com/qW6GklHImt
— Pirates (@Pirates) January 31, 2018
Smoker, 29, was designated for assignment (DFA) less than a week ago by the Mets, leaving him expendable for all 30 clubs.
In 56 1/3 innings for in New York last season, Smoker generated a 5.11 earned run average, 64 hits allowed, 32 walks and 68 strikeouts. He is another hard-thrower, averaging a 95 mph fastball in 2017 per FanGraphs.
Following being DFA, Smoker, who made his MLB debut for the Mets in 2017, penned a heartfelt letter to the fans.
To the fans…. pic.twitter.com/GGe8k94JAo
— Josh Smoker (@Josh_Smoker) January 29, 2018
If he doesn’t crack the MLB club out of spring training, he still has two options left.
Zamora, the MiLB pitcher heading to the Mets, is 24 years old and was drafted in the 40th round of the 2015 MLB draft. He spent most of 2017 with the Bradenton Mauraders, striking out 61 batters in 53 1/3 innings pitched.
Smoker joins lefties Steven Brault, Jack Leathersich and Felipe Rivero vying for a bullpen spot — obviously, Rivero, who signed a long-term deal this offseason, is the only lock of these four.