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Pirates acquire Josh Smoker

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Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The Pirates have acquired lefty reliever Josh Smoker from the Mets for minor league lefty reliever Daniel Zamora. The Mets had designated Smoker for assignment last Friday.

Smoker was a supplemental first round pick of the Nationals back in 2007. He struggled through a long string of injury-plagued seasons that saw shoulder surgeries and a severe loss of velocity. He got back on the map in 2015 with the Mets, when his velocity rebounded. He appeared in 74 games in the majors with them in 2016-17, with a lot of strikeouts (11.7 per nine innings) and walks (4.5), and an xFIP (3.97) that was better than his results (5.02 ERA). He’s been crippled in the majors by a 19.7% HR/FB ratio. Smoker’s fastball averages about 95 mph. He also throws a splitter and a curve. Now 29, he has one option left.

Zamora was a 40th round draft pick in 2015. He’s not a hard thrower, but he has good offspeed stuff and put up good numbers in reaching AA last year. He probably has a reasonable chance at reaching the majors as a LOOGY.

Thanks to Nik Turley’s recent suspension — which may have motivated this move — the Pirates won’t need to free up a roster space for Smoker.