Mets Strengthen Bullpen With Trade For Miguel Castro
The Orioles were one of the biggest sellers in baseball at the trade deadline this year, flipping Tommy Milone to the Braves and reliever Mychal Givens to the Rockies on Sunday.
They didn’t stop the moves on Monday, sending righthander Miguel Castro to the Mets in exchange for New York’s No. 12 prospect, lefthander Kevin Smith, and a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Related: See the Mets Top 30 prospect list
New York’s relievers are right in the middle of the pack in baseball with a 4.36 ERA—15th in MLB—and Castro should offer more help to the trio of Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo and Chasen Shreve who each have ERAs under 3.00.
Miguel Castro, RHP
A former top-12 prospect with both the Blue Jays and Rockies organizations, Castro has seen solid results in 15.2 innings with Baltimore this season with a 4.02 ERA. His underlying metrics suggest he could be better moving forward, as the 25-year-old fireballer is looking at career-bests in strikeout rate (13.8 per nine) and walk rate (2.9 per nine) in an admittedly small sample.
If Castro can become less homer-prone moving forward—he has allowed three home runs and has a 27.3 percent HR/FB rate—he could see his ERA drop, but more often than not when he hasn’t struck out hitters, they have hit the ball hard. Castro’s 92.4 mph average exit velocity against is the 26th-highest mark among all pitchers with at least 25 batted ball events, per Statcast.
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Kevin Smith, LHP
Smith was a seventh-round pick out of Georgia in the 2018 draft and relied on deception and an otherwise middling three-pitch repertoire to succeed at the collegiate level. That’s largely the same scouting report Smith comes with two years later in 2020, but Baltimore can be encouraged with the minor league success Smith has seen at both classifications of A ball and during a Double-A stint in 2019.
Smith pitches at 90 mph with his fastball and pairs that with an average changeup and a high-spin slider that has been a nightmare for lefthanded hitters when paired with a lower, three-quarter arm slot. Lefties hit just .207/.271/.233 against Smith in 2019 and while his stuff isn’t overpowering, the 6-foot-5 southpaw profiles as a No. 5 starter or a solid bullpen arm.
Victor Gonzalez, SS
Gonzalez signed with the Mets for $250,000 and has a slender build with a good chance to stick at shortstop. He's an average but quick runner and has plenty of arm for the left side of the diamond. He projects to hit plenty of line drives but without much in the way of home run power.