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 Boston Red Sox plan to activate Dustin Pedroia from the disabled list today. That’s a big deal. The move they’re making to make room for him on the roster is a big one too: they plan to designate Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier first reported the impending transaction. He was told by a major league source that Ramirez was informed this morning he’ll be moved off the roster. A designation for assignment, of course, means that the Sox have seven days to either trade or release Ramirez.
Ramirez, 34, is experiencing his worst season as a major leaguer thus far, hitting .254/.313/.395 (88 OPS+) in 195 plate appearances as he split time between first base and designated hitter. Given how well Mitch Moreland has hit at first and J.D. Martinez has hit at DH, there is simply no room for Ramirez in the lineup.
Ramirez, a 14-year big league veteran, won the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award and won the NL batting title in 2009. He has been a below average hitter in three of his last four seasons, however, and long removed from his days as a middle infielder, he has little defensive value these days. That said, his fame and the possibility that he could put together a decent run if used wisely will likely get him some looks from other clubs.