After being returned from the Padres in March, Blake Smith went on to produce one of his better seasons of his minor league career. In his first full season at the Triple-A level, the right-hander posted strong results, throwing 71.1 innings with a 3.53 ERA and a 9.5 K/9. He also vastly improved his control, as he put up a BB/9 below 4.0 for the first time in his career. All of this led the White Sox to call him up when the rosters expanded in September, although he found little success in the limited opportunities he had. Smith's peripherals in the minors suggest that his sound performance wasn't a complete fluke, so he could become a decent bullpen arm as he builds off his age-28 season. Even though this might have him in the conversation for one of the last major league bullpen spots, his ceiling for the 2017 season seems to be that of a typical middle reliever.
Smith signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on Saturday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Heyman initially reported that Smith had signed with the Padres but later corrected himself. Regardless of which team Smith's with, the right-hander will likely remain merely on the periphery of the major leagues in 2017, perhaps getting a call up at some point but probably not regular work.
Smith signed a minor league deal with the Padres on Saturday, FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reports. The 29-year-old righty made his big league debut in 2016 with the White Sox, logging only 4.1 innings. His upside is limited and he should spend 2017 offering organizational bullpen depth.
Smith was non-tendered by the White Sox on Friday, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune reports. Smith did little to impress during his MLB debut, allowing seven hits in 4.1 innings while striking out just one, so the White Sox decided they preferred an open roster spot. Smith posted solid numbers at Triple-A Charlotte with a 3.53 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 71.1 innings, so he should be able to land with another team.
Smith has cleared waivers and will be returned to the White Sox, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Smith had been a Rule 5 draft pick, but was not able to convince the Padres to hang on to him after eight appearances this spring. He'll return to the White Sox farm system, were a 2016 debut in Double-A Birmingham seems like one of the most likely scenarios.
Smith was selected by the Padres in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft on Thursday, JJ Cooper of Baseball America reports. Smith will look to make an impact in the Padres' bullpen after spending the last season in the Dodgers and White Sox minor league systems. He managed a 2.89 ERA and 1.36 WHIP through three different minor league stops in 2015.