The Mets selected RHP Burch Smith from the Rays with the No. 6 pick in the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning at the Winter Meetings before trading him to the Royals for cash considerations.
Smith, 27, had a 1.65 ERA and 0.80 WHIP with 19 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings (12 relief appearances, one start) for Tampa's Triple-A affiliate in 2017 after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
His lone taste of the majors came in 2013 with the Padres, where he had a 6.44 ERA and 1.65 WHIP with 46 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings for the Padres.
For his minor league career, Smith has a 3.45 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 302 strikeouts in 284 2/3 innings over five seasons.
The Mets lost LHP Jose Carlos Medina and selected INF Andrew Ely (Cubs) in the minor league phase of the Draft.