Mets shouldn’t bother taking a flier on relief pitcher Joe Smith

Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages

If you had to invent a fake baseball player and create a career for a journeyman reliever who actually had a solid time in the big leagues, you might have yourself Joe Smith. The name itself feels generically auto-generated. From 2007 when he debuted with the New York Mets until 2022 when he most recently pitched for the Minnesota Twins, Smith has managed to appear in 866 MLB games and give his 8 teams a 3.14 ERA.

Smith was recently released by the Twins as part of the MLB trade deadline overhaul many teams made. This is the point in the year when a lot of guys are getting released or DFA’d and fans wonder who their ball club should take a flier on.

Smith is not someone the Mets should even bother with.

Why the Mets shouldn’t even bother with signing Joe Smith

Smith’s path to the big leagues is incredibly unlikely as a member of the Mets. Sure, they can ink him to a minor league deal. Who cares about that? It’s not such a bad idea to have a reinforcement who has performed well in the recent past as a major league relief pitcher.

That wasn’t the August move to make. The Mets currently have eight relief pitchers on the roster with only Seth Lugo owning a minor league option. Drew Smith is on the IL and the only pair of legitimate DFA candidates they have are Tommy Hunter and Joely Rodriguez. Hunter has pitched well for the Mets. Rodriguez is the only lefty they have left.

Even if the Mets did want to take a chance on Smith, he’s unlikely to see regular big league action now or in the future. When Tylor Megill returns, the team will hope to put him in the bullpen. This takes up yet another roster spot.

Aside from Smith not really having any particular role or space with the team, this is a 38-year-old righty who had a 4.61 ERA this season and a 4.99 ERA performance last year. Whether it’s the 2.3 home runs per 9 or the incredibly low 5.6 strikeouts per 9 he had for Minnesota this year, all of the numbers are very unappealing. A 6.30 FIP and 1.53 WHIP with the Twins add to the poor numbers for the veteran hurler.

If he wants to play in Syracuse, there’s no real harm for the Mets. Matt Kemp took a Triple-A assignment with this same club a few years ago. Smith could be humble enough to do the same. Just don’t count on him to be in line for many innings. Between Yoan Lopez, Adonis Medina, and several others, the Mets might serve themselves better with the options they already have.

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