The New York Mets made a slew of roster decisions last Friday ahead of the non-tender deadline, and one of the more notable moves they made was signing reliever Drew Smith to a one-year contract. It wasn't a surprising move despite Smith's underwhelming 2023 campaign, but it was noteworthy considering the front office was considering trade offers ahead of the deadline for Smith.
The Mets seem to be in the same position they were in last winter in terms of having to rebuild a bullpen around star closer Edwin Diaz, after non-tendering many of their bullpen options last season, as well as Adam Ottavino opting out of his contract for 2024. The only relievers under contract currently include Diaz, Brooks Raley, and now Drew Smith.
Drew Smith should still be a candidate to be traded this offseason by the Mets front office
However, I don't think it would be a bad idea for the Mets to continue entertaining the thought of trading Smith this winter. Smith largely struggled in 2023, as in 62 appearances he pitched to a bloated 4.15 ERA while allowing 7 home runs, which has become a problem over the last several seasons. Baseball-Reference also projects an eerily similar season statistically in 2024 for Smith, which wouldn't bode well for a bullpen that was a mess last year.
It may be best for the Mets to move on as I find it hard to believe Smith will be given higher leverage opportunities next season with a mostly new coaching staff in place, combined with his ineffectiveness on the mound. It may be best for the Mets to find a trade partner and possibly swap him for another potential player who also may be a buy-low candidate in need of a change of scenery.
I believe David Stearns is going to put a big emphasis on rebuilding the pitching staff from top to bottom this winter, and part of that process will include a plethora of fresh blood in the bullpen. The best option in this scenario may be for Drew Smith to get a fresh start in a new market while the Mets look to completely reassemble a bullpen with new arms that fell largely flat in 2023.