3) NY Mets reliever Drew Smith is in his last arbitration year next season
Then there’s Drew Smith. Somehow he is already approaching his final year of arbitration eligibility next year. Time goes fast. It seems like Lucas Duda was just traded away for him.
This year’s salary is $1.3 million. It’s actually kind of low considering how well he has pitched for the Mets. Injuries are partly to blame. Getting up to $3 million is not impossible. If Elieser Hernandez can have a $1.6 million salary this year and be as unaccomplished as he is, an average year from Smith could award him more than twice what he is going to make this year.
The absence of Edwin Diaz this year pushes Smith into an even more vital role for the Mets. He could be a serious contender to see regular action in the eighth inning or maybe even occasionally close out a game. It isn’t a drastic change. It may be enough for Smith to add a few more feet to the deep end of his gold-crested swimming pool.
Relief pitchers don’t typically get paid a lot through the arbitration process. Someone in Smith’s situation will probably bounce around on short-term deals for the rest of his career once he does get to free agency. He can still grab a little more of Steve Cohen’s money before that time comes.