The July 31st trade deadline has passed and along with it former Mets Lucas Duda and Addison Reed. General Manager Sandy Alderson focused on restocking the Mets system with power bullpen arms. Something that was not unexpected, given his feelings on pitching vs fielding when it comes to team defense.
The Mets acquired 23 year old right-hander Drew Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays for first baseman Lucas Duda. Mets prospect Dom Smith is expected to take over first base duties in 2018. Drew Smith ranked as the No. 30 prospect in the Rays organization on MLB.com but rankings are notoriously not kind to relievers.
The hard thrower has pitched at three levels for the Rays this season, including Triple-A, with a combined 1.60 ERA in 31 appearances with 40 strikeouts to only nine walks. In 79 career minor league games, all as a reliever, Smith is 5-4 with a 1.80 ERA with 13 saves and 140 strikeouts. He features a hard fastball from 93-96 mph that has hit as high as 98 and a good curve ball. Smith also does not give up home runs – only one homer in 124.2 innings. Scouts believe he has end-of-game ability, but arm problems in the spring of 2016 caused some teams to consider him an injury risk. The Mets assigned him assigned to Double-A Binghamton.
In a smart, sneaky move the Mets acquired right-handed reliever AJ Ramos from the Miami Marlins three days before the trading deadline. The move was made before the Mets traded Addison Reed, serving the dual purpose of replacing Reed and making the demand for him higher.
The Marlins received minor league outfielder Ricardo Cespedes and minor league pitcher Merandy Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Cespedes rank ninth and 22nd, on the Mets top 30 prospects list at MLB.com.
Ramos is 2-4 with 20 saves and a 3.63 ERA this year. He has 92 saves since 2015 with a good strikeout ratio. He set a career-high with 40 saves last season, making the All-Star team. But he can be wild, averaging 5.0 walks-per-nine innings and a 1.311 WHIP.
Addison Reed Trade to Red Sox
The Reed deal with Boston returned three right-handed relief pitchers. All three players are high-strikeout pitchers who can throw hard. However, all three also have a tendency to be a little wild. All three rank in the Red Sox’s top 30 prospects, according to MLB.com. However, none of them are on MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list.
Ranked No. 18, Nogosek is 22 years old and playing at Class A Advanced Salem. He was a sixth-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Oregon. He’s posted a 3.06 ERA with 63 strikeouts, 21 walks and a .212 batting average against in 53 innings. Scouts says he has an above-average fastball, slider and cutter. That and his college experience could bring him to the big leagues sometime in 2019.
Ranked No. 23, Callahan is 23 years old and playing at Triple-A Pawtucket. He was a second-round pick in 2012 out of Dillon High School in South Carolina. Callahan is a former starter, who moved to the bullpen in 2015. He works mostly with a fastball that can touch the upper-90’s and a cutter that is his out pitch. But he struggles with control, walking 12.7 percent of the batters he’s faced and has a 1.81 WHIP this year. In June, MLB.com wrote that he is ready to help as a big-league middle reliever.
Ranked No. 28, Bautista is 22 years old and playing at Class A Advanced Salem. He was signed in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic, but was then suspended 50 games after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. He has a fastball clocked in the 96-99 mph range that has touched 100, and a good slider. In 27 relief appearances in High-A this season, Bautista is 3-2 with a 5.16 ERA, four saves and 53 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. Scouts say that between his velocity and an unconventional delivery, he has a high risk of injury.
Bautista and Callahan are both eligible for the Rule 5 Draft this off season and would need to be added to the 40-man roster by November, if the Mets want to protect them.
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