In advance of last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline, the Marlins seemingly considered every available starting pitcher to improve their staff. Before Miami added Andrew Cashner, Rays starter Drew Smyly was reportedly an option.
Miami’s rotation lacks a clear ace entering 2017, and while Smyly might not have posted top-of-the-rotation numbers last season, he is a proven lefty who is capable of pitching deep into games, something the Marlins need to fill the gap to their “super bullpen.”
Smyly must have still been available this winter, as Tampa Bay sent him to Seattle on Wednesday. For a team seeking pitching depth, Smyly could have helped Miami.
Over 175.1 innings with the Rays last season, Smyly posted a 4.88 ERA and 4.49 FIP, career highs in both categories. Still, he’s posted a carer 3.74 ERA in the American League East.
Here again, Miami’s lack of depth might have come into play. Even before trading Josh Naylor in the Cashner deal, the Marlins had one of baseball’s worst minor league systems. While that has yet to change, it might have been worth exploring what it would take to acquire two years of Smyly, who is eligible to become a free agent in 2019. Perhaps the Marlins did, but the Rays weren’t satisfied with the offer.
Miami is expected to enter Spring Training with Adam Conley, Tom Koehler, Wei-Yin Chen, Edinson Volquez and John Locke in its rotation. However, any depth might be considered moving forward.