HomeMLB RumorsMets Discussing Drew Smith Trades

Mets Discussing Drew Smith Trades

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The Mets are discussing right-hander Drew Smith in trades, reports Mike Puma of The New York Post. Smith can be retained via arbitration, with the deadline to tender contracts for such players coming up tonight at 7 pm Central.

Smith, 30, has had some decent seasons for the Mets but a few things went in the wrong direction in the past year. In 2022, he made 44 appearances with an earned run average of 3.33, striking out 28.3% of opponents while walking 8%. In 2023, his strikeout rate fell to 24.6%, his walk rate ticked up to 11.9% and his ERA was almost a full run worse, finishing at 4.15. He was also given a 10-game sticky stuff suspension in June.

The righty is now down to his final year of club control. He made a salary of $1.3MM in 2023 and is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz for a bump to $2.3MM next year. That’s a perfectly reasonable salary for a guy who’s shown some strikeout potential in his career but it seems the Mets are at least considering going in another direction.

Since he would be just a one-year rental and is coming off a down year, the return in any trade would undoubtedly be modest. But on top of whatever comes back to the Mets, they could also repurpose some of their cost savings elsewhere or perhaps just pocket them. The Mets were competitive balance tax payors in each of the past two seasons and are slated to do so for a third straight year. Roster Resource has their CBT number at $281MM for 2024, well over the $237MM base threshold, before even factoring in potential moves in the months to come. As a third time payor, they would pay a 50% tax on any overages and even higher taxation rates for going beyond the other tiers, which go up in $20MM increments.

Owner Steve Cohen hasn’t been shy about spending money since taking over the club but it seems they may be considering something of a step back in 2024. That could still see them spend on some notable big-name free agents, but perhaps they also consider a bit of penny pinching to go along with it.

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