For the first time since 2011, former big league pitcher Chris Smith will get a chance to pitch in affiliated baseball again after the San Diego Padres reportedly purchased his contract and assigned him to Triple-A El Paso.
The 33-year-old right-hander was in the second year of a two year sojourn in independent league baseball after last pitching at Triple-A Tacoma for Seattle in 2011. After not playing for a year in 2012, Smith landed in the American Association with the Wichita Wingnuts and then this season made his way to the Atlantic League with the Sugar Land Skeeters.
A fourth round selection of the Boston Red Sox out of UC-Riverside in 2002, Smith made it to the big leagues with the Red Sox in 2008. He posted a 7.85 era over 18.1 innings with seven walks and 13 strike outs all in relief. He signed as a free agent with Milwaukee prior to the 2009 season, he spent 35 games with the Brewers that season, his most in a big league uniform. Over 46 innings he compiled a 4.11 era and did not pick up a decision.
The Hesperia, CA native spent three games with the Brewers in the Majors in 2010 before being granted free agency once again.
While in Sugar Land and Wichita Smith combined to make 28 starts and four relief appearances. However in his final five seasons in affiliated ball he made just four total starts, signaling where his value may lie for the Padres.
In all, in 12 seasons as a professional Smith compiled a 55-43 record over 273 appearances with a 3.75 era, a strike out to walk ratio of over three and a whip of 1.28.