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.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge wasn’t in the starting lineup for New York’s regular-season finale, a day after his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ 61-year-old American League single-season record.
When Judge homered in the first inning Tuesday night, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers, it was his 55th consecutive game. He has played in 157 games overall for the AL East champions.
With the first-round bye in the playoffs, the Yankees won’t open postseason play until the AL Division Series starts next Tuesday.
Even though Judge had indicated that he hoped to play Wednesday, manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday night’s game that they would have a conversation and see what made the most sense.
“Short conversation,” Boone said before Wednesday’s game, adding that he was “pretty set on probably giving him the day today.”
Asked if there was a scenario in which Judge would pinch hit, Boone responded, “I hope not.”
Judge went into the final day of the regular season batting .311, trailing American League batting average leader Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315. Judge was a wide leader in the other Triple Crown categories, with his 62 homers and 131 RBIs.
Boone said that “probably the one temptation” to play Judge had been the long shot chance the slugger had to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.