On December 3rd 2015, the Boston Red Sox acquired RHP Carson Smith and LHP Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Jonathan Aro and LHP Wade Miley in a move that was supposed to help solidify the club’s bullpen ahead of the newly acquired Craig Kimbrel.
Less than three years later, the headliner of that deal, Smith, now finds himself without a team following a roster move on Thursday that saw the right-hander outrighted from Boston’s major league roster and granted free agency.
At just 29 years old, Smith is sure to bounce back with another big league club sometime soon, but when looking back at his brief tenure with the Red Sox, I think it’s fair to say it was nothing short of a moderately sized disappointment.
Appearing in just 29 total games in three different seasons with Boston, the Texas native posted a 2.66 ERA and 1.35 WHIP over only 23.2 innings pitched.
Those numbers may not look too shabby, but what was truly frustrating about Smith’s time in Boston was how much time he spent off the field and on the disabled list.
In 2016, right elbow issues throughout spring training and parts of the regular season would eventually lead to the former Mariner undergoing Tommy John Surgery, where he would not return to the active roster until late in the 2017 season.
There, he pitched in eight September games, only allowed one run over 6.2 innings pitched, and appeared in two games against the Astros in the ALDS.
Fast forward to the 2018 season, and although were some struggles mixed in there, Smith owned a solid 3.77 ERA heading into the month of May.
Despite those positive signs, May 14th marked the beginning of the end for the 2011 eighth round pick, as an eighth inning solo home run served up to the Oakland A’s Khris Davis that night would inconsequently end his 2018 campaign.
After ending the frame, Smith let out his frustration in the Red Sox dugout by slamming his glove to the ground, something he claimed he does regularly.
This time, though, the reliever, “felt [his] shoulder pop in and out real quick,” and was promptly placed on the disabled list the day after.
Instead of taking responsibility for this self-inflicted injury, Smith appeared to throw his manager, Alex Cora, under the bus a bit when speaking with media
“I think fatigue played a factor. My shoulder just couldn’t handle it,” he said. “I think my shoulder is tired in general just from pitching. I’ve thrown a lot lately and I think my arm was just tired.”
As it turns out, that little outburst would end up marking Smith’s final chapter of a wild time with the Red Sox, and he is now free to sign elsewhere.
So, if you want to look back at that deal made with Seattle in 2015, it’s not like President of Baseball Operations was giving up much, but what he and the Red Sox got in return certainly did not live up to expectations either.
Quotes via The Boston Globe.