Mets Burch Smith Mistake

With the sixth pick of the Rule 5 Draft, the Mets were not supposed to be able to select Burch Smith.  However, by some fortune, the player rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Rule 5 Draft, fell to the Mets.  Even better, the Mets made the wise decision to pick him.

But they weren’t smart enough to keep him.

In what was likely a prearranged deal with the Kansas City Royals, the Mets traded Smith for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Look, we don’t know if Smith can be an effective Major League player.  There is certainly a reason the Tampa Bay Rays left him unprotected.  His joining Zack Wheeler in missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons to Tommy John probably played no small part.  Still, this was a talented player Baseball America projects as Major League ready:

Smith sat 94-96 mph with his fastball, flashed a knee-buckling 74-76 mph curveball and showed a swing-and-miss 79-81 mph changeup. Though he’s 27 and has had serious arm health issues, Smith is major league ready and has the stuff to help a team as a back-end starter or move to the bullpen.

Looking at the Mets as constituted now, it is bizarre to think the team could part with Smith without so much as getting real player back or giving him a chance.  With stuff like Smith has, and with the arrival of Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland, you would anticipate the Mets organization could get the most out of Smith.  Whether that is as a short inning reliever, a long man (like Sean Gilmartin in 2015), or a fifth starter, Smith at least appears to be a MLB pitcher.

Obviously, the Royals believed that to be true with them dangling cash in front of a Mets team that is cutting payroll.

Sarcasm aside, the role Smith would fulfill on this Mets team would be the one given to Robert Gsellman or Rafael Montero.  With Gsellman’s not caring what the GM thinks combined with his poor season and with Montero having the career he has had, it begs the question why you would turn your back on a player who could conceivably fulfill the same role and possibly do it better.

Right now, no one is quite sure what Smith is as a Major Leaguer.  The same could be said about Pedro Beato in 2010 or Johan Santana in 1999.  Point is, we don’t know what or who Smith will be.  However, we do know what the Mets have, which makes their decision to just give Smith away all the more troubling.

6 thoughts on “Mets Burch Smith Mistake”

  1. Gothamist says:

    I am still waiting for someone to show me via BBREF when Smith put in two successful years in pre Tommy John minors.

    The Mets may not wish to have to keep a player for an entire year for they are going all out on bullpening. I respect their plan and will not oppose it.

    Yet Smith (why take these subjective rankings on prospects not specific to the Mets goals this year as gospel) SQUARE PEG SQUARE HOLE IN RULE FIVE?
    Burtin had the most risk he would be offered back if not before June in a low patience bullpen (looking now as commitee destined) eithin this year’s dynamic of relying on the rntire pitching staff and to the public they say they will compete to win 85 or more games.

    These PERPETUAL one year PEN contract goals (w production, low BB, low HR stats) of Sandy’s previous focus within RECENT bullpen acquisitions clearly say Smith was not the choice FOR WHST THE METS NEED THIS YEAR,

    This is not Philly where Smith was worth a mediocre or inconsistent transition year or continued poor control!

    The Yankee draftee option WAS AND HAS BEEN A MARVELOUS PRODUCER IN THE MINORS, QUITE mature in AAA at 22 was it?

    And ideally suited as a fifth or sixth inning LEFTY.
    He may have a higher ceiling than Sewald

    and I do not blane him…

    So many Mets pitchers inc Noah have not shown to have at will ‘out pitches’ over the last two years!

    Yet, their focus to use sixth pick for either they are desperate for every dollar or they did not want to carry anyone who was available on the roster this year.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      All rankings of prospects are subjective, and you should not base opinions just on minor league stats.

      Long story short, the Mets need another bullpen arm and a depth starter. Smith fit that bill.

  2. Flushing eGames says:

    Bobby Parnell lost 4-5mph after TJ and never learned nor succeeded as pitcher. Two plus years after return …. then I never heard of him.

    After my analysis of that son of MLBer, great composure Sewald that he needed another plus pitch why revisit it a year later with that Yankee farmhand who the O’s drafted this week?

    They need every cent of ‘cash’ more than anything.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The difference between Smith and Parnell is Smith regained his velocity.

  3. Gothamist says:

    By November, everything will be crystal clear.
    Are the Royals now rebuilding again?
    I guess it depends on FA results?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Royals are definitively rebuilding because they can’t keep everyone.

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