2) Drew Smith
Last year was supposed to be Drew Smith’s opportunity to get some big innings for the Mets. He had established himself as a favorite of Buck Showalter’s. Many fans were in agreement. He could be trusted.
A 2.40 ERA in 2021 and a 3.33 ERA performance in 2022 was good enough to give us faith Smith could remain one of the better Mets relievers. Not so fast.
Smith’s ERA bumped up to 4.15 this past year. It’s not an abominable number. Somehow he managed to escape without giving up a whole lot more. His 1.40 WHIP tells the story of a pitcher who was constantly working out of the stretch. Fortunately, a career-low of 1.1 home runs per 9 helped save some of the destruction.
Smith is now on the edge as someone the Mets could potentially non-tender or trade. He has only one more year of control remaining with a whole lot of questions about where he’d fit in next season.
Even if he does remain with the ball club, it’s going to be tough for Smith to have their trust. His step back in 2023 didn’t come without warning, though. Smith routinely had a FIP well above his ERA. Finally, this past year, it seemed to catch up with him.