Yet another member of the 2019 Astros for the Mets to think about, Joe Smith is someone coming off a productive albeit short season. In 25 innings for Houston, the ex-Mets reliever went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA.
Far more impressive than what he did this past season is Smith’s entire career. He has never had a season with an ERA higher than 3.83. In 13 MLB seasons with all 695.1 innings coming out of the bullpen, he is 50-29 with a 2.98 ERA.
How Smith flew under the radar for so long is a bit surprising. He spent six years with the Cleveland Indians after his first two with the Mets. Smith first left New York in a three-team deal with the Indians and Seattle Mariners which included names like Endy Chavez, Aaron Heilman, and Jason Vargas leaving Flushing.
At 36 next season, Smith is no spring chicken. His age may even scare off some Mets fans who prefer to see the team get younger. It’s a little different with relief pitchers. Experience often pays off.
It’s not as if Smith is receiving AARP benefits in the mail just yet. He hasn’t even been eligible to become the President of the United States for a full year. I think his lack of decline speaks volumes.
Unlike many other Astros pitchers, Smith had talent before he landed in Houston. Wherever he played, he found success. This includes his rookie and sophomore season with the Mets way back in the latter part of the last decade.
Despite a poor Game Seven of the 2019 World Series, he’s a guy the Mets shouldn’t write-off this winter.