Mets sign relief pitcher to a minor-league contract

mlb: philadelphia phillies at oakland athletics, chad smith, mets
D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets are coming off one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history that saw the blue and orange go from World Series contenders to finishing 75-87.

One of the bigger goals for the blue and orange this offseason was to add more bullpen depth, and on Saturday, they continued to do that.

According to Joe DeMayo of SNY, the Mets have signed RHP Chad Smith to a minor-league contract.

A look at Smith’s baseball journey.

After pitching collegiately for both the University of Mississippi and Ole Miss, Smith got selected in the 11th round of the 2016 draft by the Miami Marlins.

The Alabama native would spend the next four years working his way up the Marlins system before being traded to the Colorado Rockies on August 13, 2020, for Jesús Tinoco.

Smith would impress in Triple-A Albuquerque before finally being called up to the big leagues on May 28, 2022.

The right-hander pitched 18 innings across 15 games to a 7.50 ERA with a 1.722 WHIP and struck out 23 for the Rockies.

The following offseason, the purple and black shipped Smith off to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Jeff Criswell.

The 28-year-old would pitch 13.2 innings across 10 games to a 6.59 ERA with a 1.610 WHIP and struck out nine for the Athletics.

Following the season, Smith was removed from the 40-man roster and elected free agency.

What does this mean for the Mets?

Signing Smith is a low-risk, high-reward situation for the blue and orange. 

New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns has prioritized bullpen depth and has taken a quantity over quality approach; adding Smith is just another cog in the overall master plan.

The Mets will hope Smith can pitch well in Triple-A Syracuse before eventually finding a niche in the blue and orange bullpen.

While this is another excellent low-risk acquisition for the Mets, the blue and orange need to find higher-quality bullpen pieces with more consistent track records if they hope to improve their bullpen legitimately in 2024.