Drew Smyly was diplomatic, answering questions about having just been traded. He wasn't particularly happy about it, though.
Smyly, a left-handed pitcher, was involved in a three-team deal just before the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday. Smyly was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Tampa Bay Rays along with 18-year-old shortstop prospect Willie Adames. Fellow Tiger Austin Jackson went to the Seattle Mariners, and left-handed pitcher David Price (the jewel of the trade) went to the Rays, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Smyly's last Tiger performance was less than impressive. He had allowed four runs and eleven hits over five innings, with two strikeouts. Smyly, 25, was a second-round pick of the Tigers in 2010. He went 16-12 in three seasons with the Tigers. He also had a 2.57 ERA in 10 postseason playoff games for the Tigers. After Smyly's start Thursday, he is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 105.1 innings.
Smyly was already in the clubhouse when word of his impending trade began circulating on his cell phone. "I found out via social media, obviously," Smyly said, adding that Tigers general manager/president Dave Dombrowski came in shortly after to tell him the deal was official. "Unexpected. Didn't see it coming," Smyly said. "I didn't want to leave here. These guys are awesome. We have a great team."
"I had no idea this was coming before I came out the game today," Smyly said.
Smyly said the Rays "are excited to have me, so I'm excited to be there…but it sucks, you know. This is all I know, so it sucks leaving."
At least Smyly was already done for the day. Jackson was pulled after the game had been halted so he could leave and get to the airport for his plane ride to Seattle. He had no time to say goodbye to most of his teammates.
According to SB Nation DRays Bay, Smyly is a serviceable middle pitcher that Tampa Bay is excited to have. He's in no way a replacement to Price, but Smyly will help solidify the Rays' middle relief. Smyly is adept at mixing his pitches up, and keeping batters on their toes. And, at the age of 25, he has a good chance of being a quality pitcher for quite a few years to come.
Since the Rays made the trade, it's a given they are rebuilding for next season. Smyly will provide the Rays' pitching staff with a good arm with good stuff over the next few years.