ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves appear to have found themselves a closer.
The ball club signed lefty Will Smith to a three-year contract worth $39 million, with a 2023 club option for $13 million.
According to release by the Braves:
“Smith, 30, saved 34 games for the Giants last season, going 6-0 with a 2.76 ERA (20 ER/65.1 IP) in 63 games. The 6-foot-5, 248-pound native of Newnan, Ga., fanned 96 batters, walked 21 and allowed opponents to hit just .196 (46-for-235) against him as he made his first All-Star team. He limited left-handed hitters to a .157 (11-for-70) average and two extra-base hits all season.
“Smith joined San Francisco at the trade deadline in 2016 from Milwaukee, where he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons as well. Originally drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by Los Angeles (AL) out of Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Fla., Smith made his major league debut with Kansas City in 2012 as a starter.
“Smith began working out of the bullpen fulltime in 2014 with the Brewers, and since that season, the lefty’s 12.26 K/9 rate is the fourth best in baseball among left-handed relievers.
“For his career, Smith owns a 26-22 record, a 3.53 ERA (161 ER/410.2 IP) and 494 strikeouts in 359 games, 17 starts. As a reliever, Smith has 49 saves and a 2.95 ERA (104 ER/317.0 IP) in 342 games.”
Some analysts believe Smith is the best reliever among this year's free-agent market.
The Braves said Smith will be introduced by the team Tuesday during a press event at SunTrust Park.