The Boston Red Sox have brought back RHP Carson Smith on a minor league contract for the 2019 season, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
Smith, 29, originally elected free agency after being outrighted from Boston’s 40-man roster in November, but in a move that may surprise some, the Texas native is back with the organization.
Originally acquired from the Seattle Mariners along with LHP Roenis Elias in exhange for RHP Jonathan Aro and LHP Wade Miley back in December of 2015, Smith’s initial tenure with the Red Sox was riddled with injuries and several stints on the disabled list.
In parts of three different seasons with Boston, the former eighth round pick posted a 2.65 ERA and 10.3 K/9 over just 29 appearances out of the bullpen and 23.2 total innings pitched.
A recipient of Tommy John surgery in 2016, Smith made his first Opening Day Red Sox roster this past season, where he allowed six runs to cross the plate over 14.1 innings of work before his year ultimately came to an end on May 14th.
After serving up an eighth inning solo home run to the Oakland Athletics’ Khris Davis, the right-hander slammed his glove in the Red Sox dugout of frustration upon retiring the side in the frame, which resulted in the subluxation of his throwing shoulder. An injury that would eventually see Smith placed on the 60-day disabled list and miss the remainder of the season.
To make matters worse, Smith essentially threw his manager Alex Cora under the bus following his embarrassing injury, saying that, “I think fatigue played a factor. My shoulder just couldn’t handle it. 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.”
That matter did not sit well with Red Sox fans back in the spring, but with the departure of Joe Kelly to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the probable departure of Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox have made adding pitching depth a priority this winter.
Already in the month of December alone the club has agreed to minor league deals with RHPs Erasmo Ramirez and Zach Putnam to go along with Sunday’s signing of Smith.
It remains to be seen if this latest deal with Smith includes an invite to major league spring training, but I’m going to go ahead and say it will.