The Mets worked out a trade with the Pirates for the recently-DFA'ed Josh Smoker.
We’ve acquired LHP Daniel Zamora and cash considerations from Pittsburgh in exchange for LHP Josh Smoker. #Mets— New York Mets (@Mets) January 31, 2018
I'm a fan of this move. Darren wrote about how great Smoker was personally, and I know there were some people who didn't understand cutting ties with one of only two lefties on the 40-man roster. But Smoker wasn't really the prototypical LOOGY.
Lefties slashed .281/.366/.482 off Smoker in '17, almost identical to his line against righties. (.283/.381/.487). And in a smaller sample in 2016, Smoker was actually far better against righties than he was lefties (.200/.222/.371 in 14 games vs. RHers as opposed to .360/.448/.600 in 19 games vs. LHers).
So it's not like Smoker was shutting down the left handed bats he was called in to face. As a result, Sandy is basically restarting the clock with a younger arm, and hoping that Zamora could possibly turn into that lefty specialist that Smoker wasn't.
At age-29, Smoker -- a former first round pick -- probably is what he had been at the MLB level. Zamora, meanwhile, is an unknown commodity, but has time on his side.
He had an intriguing year at High-A Bradenton, where he posted a 1.86 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP over the span of 53.1 innings. He had 61 punch outs to 17 walks. His work at AA Altoona was limited to just three innings, but it's still very early in the development process, especially for a lefty, who have always been typecasted as a bunch who put it together a little later in their careers.
Sure, there's a chance Zamora never sniffs Queens, but it's a worthwhile gamble. And the local flavor (Stony Brook's campus is 10 minutes from my house) makes it a fun story to follow.
So best wishes to ol' Brown Bear, and welcome to Zamora, the former Seawolf. Any time you want to throw it back to the SBU days and hit The Bench for a brew, Daniel, give me a buzz!