Source: #BlueJays in agreement with free-agent reliever Joe Smith on one-year, major-league contract.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 5, 2017
Late night Rosembomb! Ken Rosenthal tweeted late Saturday night/early Sunday morning that the Blue Jays are signing right-handed reliever Joe Smith to a one-year, major league deal.
Don’t look now, but it appears that we have an actually bullpen! And the season hasn’t even started yet!
*frantically googles Joe Smith baseball player*
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) February 5, 2017
I won’t lie, when I saw “Blue Jays sign Joe Smith” I had no clue who the hell Rosenthal was talking about. That largely comes down to my lack of knowledge of the bullpens outside of the American League East but it also has to do with the fact he has the most generic name in the english language.
But Smith isn’t just some Joe Random nobody. He’s played 10 seasons in the Majors, most recently with the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, and has some pretty impressive numbers to his name. Last season, with Chicago and the LA Angels, Smith posted a 3.46 ERA, 4.99 FIP, 1.250 WHIP, and struck out 6.9 batters per nine innings. His 2016 totals are slightly worse than his career average. Over his career, Smith’s 162-game average is solid, featuring a 2.93 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 1.199 WHIP, and 7.5 strikeouts per nine.
That’s not bad! And it sure as hell beats the other options we were mulling over throwing out there. I mean, nothing against Ryan Tepera or Danny Barnes, but I would rather not have them break the team as the second or third best righty option out of the ‘pen.