Pirates Agree to Minor League Deal with LHP Caleb Smith

According to Jon Heyman, the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran left-handed pitcher Caleb Smith. He also receives an invite to Spring Training.

Smith has pitched parts of each of the last six seasons in the majors. He has over five years of service time, so a majority of those six years have been spent in the majors. He was with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2022, where he had a 4.11 ERA, a 5.57 FIP, a 1.37 WHIP and a 65:39 SO/BB ratio in 70 innings over 44 appearances.

Smith saw time as a starter in 2021, posting a 4.83 ERA, a 5.10 FIP, a 1.37 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 113.2 innings. He made 13 starts and 32 relief appearances. His best season according to WAR was the 2019 campaign, when he made 28 starts for the Miami Marlins. He went 10-11, 4.52 in 153.1 innings, with a 5.11 FIP, a 1.22 WHIP and 168 strikeouts, while leading the league with 33 homers allowed.

The 31-year-old has a career 20-30, 4.55 record in 447 innings, spread over 64 starts and 83 relief appearances. He has 478 strikeouts, a 1.31 WHIP and a 5.04 FIP.

The numbers say he throws a fastball almost half of the time that averages 92 MPH, while splitting the rest of his pitches somewhat evenly between sliders and changeups.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

crafty lefty whose bread and butter is a 92 mph fastball.

I hope he remains healthy and that PNC helps him remain healthy.


Nobody is mentioning that Smith was the main piece of return the DBacks-Marlins Starling Marte trade back in 2020. For those of you who have already declared Peguero a bust, at least it wasn’t this bad


Nice signing. Possible depth option if someone comes down with forearm strain, which will definitely happen. Reminds me of Steven Brault but with a better WHIP and hopefully healthier.


Ughh wait a second. Dreker forgot the part that Smith has a partial ligament tear in his last appearance in Oct.! He’s going to need TJ…….no wonder he was available, with a Minor League deal to boot!


Doctors say he does not need TJS. While it is possible he may need it down the road, there are a number of pitchers who have gone years with a partially torn UCL and pitched fine. Tanaka is one example.


Actually the doctors didn’t say he didn’t need TJ. They gave him an option he could “try” and pitch thru it or get the surgery…..they gave Smith both choices and he’s evidently going to try and pitch thru it. The way his last appearance ended in excruciating pain while still on the mound, I wouldn’t bet a dime on him successfully pitching thru it.


Probably why we got him on a minor league deal, which eliminates any real risk on our part.

b mcferren

pleasant surprise

didn´t know this guy was on the market

sprinkle pnc magic on a lefty and vwalla

it was hard for me to see them giving the ruleV dude no competition/pressure in spring training



Share article

Pirates Prospects Daily

Latest articles

Pirates Prospects Weekly

MONDAY: First Pitch

TUESDAY: Article Drop


THURSDAY: Roundtable

FRIDAY: Discussion

SATURDAY: Pirates Draft Report

SUNDAY: Pirates Business

Latest comments

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x