The talk amongst New York Mets fans at this time of the year usually focuses on one of two things: what the team should buy or what they should sell. Things are going pretty well for the first place Mets. Obvious buyers, their need for a starting pitcher is even greater now with David Peterson landing on the IL.
Starting pitcher injuries have wreaked havoc on the Mets this year. Down another arm for several weeks, it has become even more imperative to add someone.
Fortunately, the perfect guy to trade for right this moment does exist. His name is Caleb Smith.
Why Caleb Smith is absolutely perfect for the Mets
Already covered last week when looking at the entire Arizona Diamondbacks roster, Smith is a starter/reliever who throws left-handed and is having a pretty good year on a team going nowhere. The Diamondbacks have already begun to lightly sell and are a hot top in early July trade rumors.
Smith may not be the hot name many Mets fans want to see. He’s no superstar but he can fill in temporarily as a productive starter and slide into the bullpen if everyone does manage to get healthy again.
What’s more, we already have Dominic Smith and Drew Smith. Why not add the eldest of the three brothers—assuming Smith is an uncommon name and there’s no possible way three men could play in the league at the same time and share a surname.
Throwing from the left side, Smith gives the club a southpaw option. Already down Peterson and Joey Lucchesi, it’s a nice choice to have. Plus, if he does move to the bullpen, he can be paired with Aaron Loup. The Mets have managed to navigate nearly the entire season with only one lefty reliever. Smith could give them a secondary choice down the stretch and, dare I say, even into the playoffs.
Smith’s career numbers are nothing fantastic. Because of this, he’s likely already available even if he isn’t a burden on the Arizona payroll.
With a contract that could keep him under team control for two more seasons, Smith isn’t just a rental. If things work out well, he’s a guy that can compete for a rotation spot or possibly slot in as a relief option. Because he is also still in his arbitration years, we could always see him getting non-tendered in a worst-case scenario.
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There’s nothing to lose at acquiring Smith other than possibly passing on a better arm. But with sellers likely holding onto some of the best trade chips for at least a few more weeks, the Mets may want to get things started quickly. The Arizona sell-off is already underway. For a relatively low cost, the Mets can pick up a guy tomorrow, give themselves some time to experiment, and see if they can win a few more games with a new guy in the rotation.