There are a variety of things the New York Mets need to do this offseason and one of the most important tasks on David Stearns’ offseason checklist is to build a formidable bullpen. The team’s new president of baseball operations had done an admirable job of doing so during his time in Milwaukee, but this is different; the bullpen he’s inherited needs more of a facelift than a makeover.
Beyond Edwin Diaz and Brooks Raley, it’s a whole lot of nothing. One of the names that you would think to group in with these two — at least prior to the start of last season — was Drew Smith. The 30-year-old made two notable changes prior to the 2023 season and fixed his delivery and his diet. That didn’t seem to fix much, as Smith, who was granted more opportunities as a high-leverage reliever than he probably should have been, slumped to a 4-6 record with a 4.15 ERA last season.
In 44 appearances in 2022, Smith had a strikeout rate of 28.3% and a walk rate of 8%. His performance declined in 2023, with his strikeout rate dropping to 24.6% and his walk rate increasing to 11.9%. His ERA also worsened, rising from 3.33 in 2022 to a near-run-higher 4.15 in 2023.
And now, the Mets are considering trading him.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reported Friday that the Mets have been talking to teams potentially interested in Smith ahead of Friday’s (Nov. 17) deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.
Mets have been talking to teams potentially interested in Drew Smith ahead of tonight's deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 17, 2023
Smith isn’t a player that this current regime acquired, so it remains to be seen if he’s part of their future plans. We’ll know by the end of business on Friday if he’ll be traded, or if the Mets will tender the 30-year-old right-hander a contract for the 2024 MLB season.