Yesterday, left-handed pitcher Wade Miley of the Boston Red Sox along with minor-leaguer Jonathan Aro were traded to the Seattle Mariners for relief pitcher Carson Smith and starter/reliever Roenis Elias. My first reaction was that I loved the trade, I know Sean and Tyler feel the same way. The Sox frankly couldn’t really use Miley other than a back-end starter, a position where prospects like Henry Owens or Michael Kopech could occupy to gain more experience. While Aro doesn’t seem too special but even if he hits his stride he couldn’t really find many reps or playing time with the Sox. In return Boston received two pitchers both with their own upsides.
Roenis Elias is a left-handed back of the rotation starter just like Miley but unlike Miley he has shown the ability and more importantly, the willingness to make the transition to the bullpen. The expectations for Elias’ production in the bullpen are rather low, but guys like Wade Davis have made similar transitions from bottom rotation starters to the later inning roles and found big success. Elias could find great production in the bullpen using a fastball, curveball, changeup while mixing in a sinker. It mostly depends on how he handles the situation of being a less important member of a now, prolific bullpen in a new city.
Carson Smith, an absolute stud out of the bullpen. At first I was surprised that the Mariners agreed to the terms of the deal causing them to part ways with Smith. Smith has real potential and is still relatively young at 26 for a reliever. Smith throws sidearm-ish and has an arsenal including a sinker, slider and changeup. Smith, a right-hander has found huge success in the strikeout department with his slider and sinker combo. While his sinker leads to ground-outs and his changeup leads to fly-outs.
Carson Smith could be a deadly addition to a bullpen lined with Craig Kimbrel, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara along with Elias. David Schoenfield, a writer for ESPN compared the Red Sox bullpen to that of the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. Any time your team is compared to the reigning champions or even to their best asset, their bullpen, I think it is safe to say that Dombrowski has had a very successful offseason.