The Mets announced on Wednesday that the club coughed up lefty reliever Josh Smoker in exchange for Pirates minor league pitcher Daniel Zamora. Smoker had been designated for assignment by the Mets on Friday.
Smoker was stubbed out of the 40-man roster to make room for Jose Reyes, who was also signed on Friday. The trade marks a cessation of a three-year stint with the Mets. In 71 2/3 innings in the majors, Smoker owns a 5.02 ERA with a 93/36 K/BB ratio. He has a habit of missing the strike zone, but there’s no patch for that. Pitching coach Ray Searage will try to get him to quit, otherwise his reputation as a miracle worker will be tarred and he will become the butt of jokes.
Smoker throws hard, is left-handed, and is relatively cheap, which are all pluses for the Pirates. He’ll have ample opportunity to work his way up the depth chart.
Zamora, 24, was selected by the Pirates in the 40th round of the 2015 draft. Last year with High-A Bradenton, Zamora pitched 53 1/3 innings of relief with a 1.86 ERA and a 61/17 K/BB ratio.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.