Mets flip Josh Smoker for Pirates Daniel Zamora and cash

By Richard Heaton
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 01: Catcher Travis d'Arnaud
DENVER, CO - AUGUST 01: Catcher Travis d'Arnaud /

Days after designating him for assignment, the Mets flipped Josh Smoker to the Pirates for Daniel Zamora and cash considerations.

It’s been a ride for Smoker this past week. He was first designated for assignment by the Mets on January 26th to make room for Jose Reyes on the 40 man roster. then he was traded for the five year younger LHP.

Zamora spent three seasons in the Pirates organization split between Single A and Double A. During his Pittsburgh tenure, he put in some great numbers and might be able to help out the Mets in the minors and the future.

In 2017, Zamora pitched to a 1.76 ERA over 39 games. He also recorded 63 strikeouts over 56 innings pitched, his third straight season with a K/9 ratio of at least 10.

While his ERA was low and his strikeouts were high, Zamora did struggle a bit with keeping runners off base. He walked an average of three batters every nine innings and posted a 1.225 WHIP.

Overall, his 2017 season was a success. It wasn’t just a fluke or some luck either as his first two seasons were very similar in many ways. Between all levels, Zamora posted a career 2.49 ERA and 133 strikeouts over 115 innings pitched.

When comparing Zamora’s minor league career to Smoker’s career, on paper it looks as if Zamora has the edge. In two seasons with the Mets, Smokers best ERA was 4,70 in 2016. He posted a 1.704 WHIP in 2017 with a very similar K/9 ratio.

Before he made his debut, Smoker posted an ERA of at least 4 in five different minor league seasons. The comparison of minor league stats makes it seem as if Zamora can have a successful stint down the road if he can keep these numbers up in the minors.

One question is where and when will Zamora be used? He’s only pitched three innings at the Double A level, so it doesn’t look like he’ll be in Flushing any time soon. Ideally, it looks like Zamora will start 2018 at Single A and get some extra games in before moving up.

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From there, it’s all based on how he performs on a game to game basis. For now however, it appears as though the deal was made solely for the extra cash.