• Hot Stove Tracker
"Well, we like him a lot," said Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations. "We're pleased to be able to get him, and we think it really gives us another power arm in the bullpen. It gives us a lot more depth from the right-hand side."
After signing David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract last week, Boston had an overflow of starters. The Miley move took place just hours after it was reported that starter Hisashi Iwakuma is leaving the Mariners to sign with the Dodgers, so perhaps the Red Sox were able to pounce on the timing of that. Smith is 26 years old, and Boston has contractual control over him for the next five seasons.
Improving the bullpen was one of the major goals for Dombrowski this winter. Manager John Farrell now has a relief corps that has four strong righties for the late innings, with recently acquired closer Craig Kimbrel and Smith joining standout holdovers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa. Lefty Robbie Ross Jr., who had a strong finish to the season, will also be an important part of the 'pen.
"What's clearly different with this group is it's deeper in talent, it's deeper in performance and it's deeper in the ability to get strikeouts in key spots," said Farrell. "The one guy that's going to benefit the most with both Kimbrel and Smith coming here is Junichi."
Tazawa pitched in 203 games for the Red Sox over the last three seasons and was shut down for the final three weeks of 2015 due to fatigue.
Pitching in 70 games, Smith notched a 2.31 ERA while striking out 92 over 70 innings and holding opponents to a .194 average. The Mariners selected him in the eighth round of the 2011 Draft.
What do the Red Sox like most about him?
"Probably the combination of power stuff and unique arm slot," said Farrell. "He reminds you a little of Jeff Nelson a number of years ago with the Yankees where he was a dominant reliever for a lot of years. It's a unique combination with that low three-quarter arm slot and the power."
Smith experienced some decrease in his velocity late in '15, but Boston isn't worried.
"I'm sure because of the long year, first year, he's gone start to finish against that type of caliber of hitter, it's going to have some taxation to it that you typically see in a reliever," said Farrell. "All our reports are very strong and very consistent, both in terms of his physical abilities and what he is as a person. He's everything we hoped to get in a reliever."
The Red Sox also get another promising arm in the 27-year-old Elias, who started 49 games for the Mariners over the past two seasons. In 51 career appearances, he is 15-20 with a 3.97 ERA.
Boston has Price, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Joe Kelly targeted to start, so Elias can either serve as depth in the Minors or a bullpen arm on the Major League roster.
Miley, 29, went 11-11 with a 4.46 ERA in 2015, his only season with the Red Sox. Boston acquired him from Arizona last year at the Winter Meetings.
The Mariners have good cost control with Miley, who will earn $6 million in 2016 and $8.75 million in '17, and has a club option for $12 million in '18.
"We improved our bullpen and also keep some depth with the Elias acquisition. But Miley did a nice job for us," Dombrowski said. "There's no question about that. Any time you get a guy that pitches well, wins double-digit games, pitches close to 200 innings and does a lot of things that help you, sure it is [tough to trade him]."