After much of the day spent kicking the tires on Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and Orioles closer Zach Britton, the Indians have acquired right-handed pitcher Joe Smith from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Indians minor leaguers Thomas Pannone and Samad Taylor.
Smith is remembered by many Indians fans as having pitched in Cleveland from 2009-2013. After the 2013 season, the Ohio native signed with the LA Angels and then was acquired by the Cubs in 2016. After the 2016 season, he was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Smith is a good pick up for a team with an already dominant bullpen. He joins a group that is lead by Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Smith is expected by many to come in and take some innings away from the always unpredictable Bryan Shaw.
Although he’s had the injury bug at times this season, Smith still posts a career ERA of 2.95 and is having a fantastic season. He’s 3-0 with a 3.28 ERA with 51 strikeouts. He has made 38 appearances on the year has pitched 35 2/3 innings this year.
Although they weren’t able to nail Darvish or Britton, they still managed to steal a pretty good arm without giving a lot. Trading for Darvish and/or Britton would have meant giving up key prospects like Francisco Mejia or Tristan Mckenzie that the Indians have big plans for in the future. As the waiver wire comes around, I still would look for maybe the Indians to add a utility bat or maybe even an arm.
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Stats and info via Baseball reference