Smith gives up three homers in loss to Cubs

Left-hander is rumored trade target, but he keeps focus on job at hand

July 25th, 2021

CHICAGO -- Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field, D-backs left-hander made his last start before Friday's Trade Deadline.

Was it his final start in a D-backs uniform? Time will tell as Smith could be an attractive piece for a team looking to bolster its rotation down the stretch.

Smith (3-7) took the loss as the D-backs dropped the rubber game of the three-game series with the Cubs, 5-1.

Although he only allowed three hits over six innings, they were all home runs and they accounted for all five of Chicago's runs.

The homers, well those will happen, but what bothered Smith were the two walks he allowed ahead of them.

Willson Contreras drew a leadoff walk in the first before Smith allowed back-to-back homers to Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo to put the Cubs up 3-0.

In the fourth, Patrick Wisdom drew a one-out walk and David Bote followed one out later with a home run to left-center to expand Chicago's lead to 5-0.

"Yeah, I thought I threw the ball fairly well," Smith said. "The results aren’t really what you want to see. Three hits, three homers. The homers, I can live with giving up three home runs, as long as they’re solo home runs. The thing that really aggravates me is the walks, the two walks before the home runs. As a team, you can’t defend against a walk. There’s nothing you can do. That was the biggest downfall. The walks could have changed the game completely. The loss is 100 percent on me."

There were plenty of scouts in attendance for the series given the fact that the D-backs are definitely Deadline sellers and the Cubs likely are, too. Chicago has the bigger-name trade chips with Bryant, Rizzo and Javier Báez all set to be free agents at the end of the season.

But the D-backs have some players teams have interest in, including Smith.

Smith, who will turn 30 on Wednesday, is still in his prime and when he is able to avoid walks, has shown he can be a valuable starter. In addition, Smith is under club control via arbitration through the 2023 season, which means the team acquiring him gets him for the rest of this year and the next two, if it wants.

Smith is no novice to being traded. He was dealt from the Yankees to the Marlins following the 2017 season and then last year at the Deadline, the D-backs acquired him along with Humberto Mejía and Julio Frias from the Marlins in exchange for outfielder Starling Marte.

"Last year, getting traded, it was pretty unexpected," Smith said. "Again, it was out of my control and it wasn’t even in the back of my mind. That’s kind of how it is now. I don’t pay attention to it. I can’t control it. So, I don’t even worry about it. If it happens, it happens. It’s out of my control so there’s no use in stressing about it."

Smith is not the only D-backs player that has had his name mentioned in rumors.

Right-hander Merrill Kelly, who started Saturday's game had scouts at the game watching him, and infielders Eduardo Escobar and Asdrúbal Cabrera, in addition to closer Joakim Soria, are also possible trade candidates.

Smith was asked if the players in the clubhouse were hoping to get the Trade Deadline behind them so they didn't have to think about possibly getting dealt.

"I can’t speak for anybody else, I don’t know how anybody else feels about it," Smith said. "For me, I try not to think about it. My main focus is winning baseball games. Every fifth day, when I get the ball, I’m going to go out there and do my damnedest to try to win a baseball game. That’s all there is."