The Carson Smith era with the Boston Red Sox could have been a good one, but instead it was an unmitigated disaster.
Though the writing had been on the wall for months, the Sox and Smith officially parted ways Thursday. The team announced he had been activated from the 60-day disabled list and outrighted off the big league roster after clearing waivers. Smith, as a result, elected to enter free agency.
The relief pitcher was acquired from the Seattle Mariners along with Roenis Elias prior to the 2016 season in exchange for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro. At the time Smith was acquired he was coming off his best big league season (and the only one that lasted more than 18 appearances), posting a 2.31 ERA over 70 appearances as a high leverage reliever with the Mariners in 2015.
His time in Boston, however, was bumpy. He appeared in three games for the Red Sox in 2016 before undergoing Tommy John surgery that May. He missed nearly all of 2017 while continuing his rehab from the surgery, but was back in time to pitch in eight games in September, posting good enough results (1.35 ERA over 6 2/3 innings) to inspire confidence for 2018.
In 18 appearances this season he had a 3.77 ERA, but his campaign concluded in May after suffering a shoulder subluxation by throwing his glove in the dugout out of anger. In response to the injury, he took a veiled shot at manager Alex Cora, saying his arm was fatigued from overuse, which must’ve player a role in the “freak” injury. Cora responded by noting Smith never said anything and that he would’ve stayed away from him if he knew that.
Smith was entering his second year of arbitration and likely was going to command a little under $1 million in 2019. Still, at this point it seems best the two sides go their separate directions.
In related roster news, Tony Renda and Justin Haley also were outrighted off the roster. Dustin Pedroia, Marco Hernandez and Austin Maddox all were activated from the 60-day DL.