MMO Mailbag: Should We Target Detroit’s Drew Smyly?

An article by posted on December 19, 2012

I received this e-mail from Hitman:

What do you think about the possibility of bringing in Drew Smyly of the Tigers? I’ve already touched up previously in a few comments about his great breaking stuff and if you haven’t seen a highlight video of his from the 2012 season on Youtube, watch it. You’ll be impressed in what you see. Alderson was talking about bringing in another starter that could win 10-12 games. This is the youngster for the job.

First, thanks for the e-mail! I think what we learned over the last few days about the Mets is that for starters, they aren’t going to tip their hand. Alderson said he didn’t expect many changes at all during a time when there was a Dickey deal on the table and nobody knew about it. Some call this lying, I call it being a General Manager.

Currently the Dodgers and the Tigers represent two playoff caliber teams with too much starting pitching. For the Dodgers, Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly all find themselves in a competition for the 5th spot in the rotation. For Detroit, it’s Porcello & Smyly.

Looking at Detroit, they have Verlander-Sanchez-Fister-Scherzer-Porcello-Smyly. If you take a look at the Tigers needs, they need late inning relief, maybe a left fielder, and then obviously any prospects they can get.

When I look at the 6 man rotation they have right now, one thing strikes me as obvious. Smyly is their only left handed starter. So right off the bat, I think it’s more likely that they trade Rick Porcello than Drew Smyly unless they were overwhelmed by Smyly.

Drew Smyly 3Smyly was rushed to the big leagues just like Porcello was. In 2011, he pitched in 22 games between A+ & AA ball and then last year he appeared in 7 AAA games before heading up to the majors.

Smyly struck out 94 batters in 99 innings of big league work, as a young starting pitcher, Detroit has to love those numbers. Smyly relies heavily on a 4 seam fastball, followed by a pretty good slider. He also has the ability to throw a cutter, changeup and sinker. So a 5 pitch starter is definitely intriguing, plus he is under team control for a few years.

If I were the Tigers, I would sell high on Smyly and I don’t think the Mets are in the business of buying high right now.

Lucas Duda would have to be the active player that gets sent to the Tigers, and he’s not good enough to net a 23 year old big league lefty. So you’d have to throw in a significant prospect in my opinion. Is Wilmer Flores that guy?

Flores right now is stuck within the Mets farm, but with the forecast of Harvey-Niese-Wheeler-Gee-Familia-Syndergaard (and others), is Smyly really the player the Mets need to go after if they trade Flores? I don’t think he is. I think if they are trading Flores, they need to net an impact outfielder.

Plus, if you are helping them out in the LF/DH department, you’re creating another hole in the Mets outfield.

I think the Mets are more likely looking at a short term solution in the starting rotation because they likely trust their young arms are good enough long term.

I think the Mets are much more likely to go after pitchers like Edwin Jackson, Shaun Marcum or Francisco Liriano depending on what the market is dictating for their contract.

And in Detroit’s case, I think they would much rather trade Porcello than Smyly.

I think if one of these 3 do not end up with the Mets, then I feel one of the Dodgers arms (most likely Harang, Capuano, or Lilly) are more likely to fit the Mets trade criteria and price than Porcello or Smyly.

I think Drew Smyly is a very talented young arm and I’d love to see him in a Mets uniform, but I just do not think it does enough for Detroit to make the move and I do not think the Mets are in a position where they feel Smyly is a must have.

mmo mailbag

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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