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Report: Angels sign Joe Smith to three-year, $15.75 million deal

Nov 23, 2013, 10:10 PM EDT

Joe Smith Getty Getty Images

The setup market is all set up: Joe Smith and the Angels have come to terms on a three-year contract, according to Jon Heyman of

Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reports that it’s worth $15.75 million.

Obviously, it’s a big price for a pretty anonymous guy, but Smith has a 2.97 ERA since entering the league in 2007 and has come in under that each of the last three years. He finished 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA and a 54/23 K/BB ratio in 63 innings for the Indians last season.

The big key with Smith is that he’s improved enough against left-handers these last few years that he can be left in to face them in big situations. When he first came into the league, he could only be trusted against righties. Lefties hit a modest .227/.325/.373 against him last season, and that was actually the best they’ve fared since 2010.

Smith will overtake Dane De La Rosa as the top setup man in front of Ernesto Frieri in the Anaheim bullpen. He’s an upgrade for sure, but at what cost? This is $5 million that can’t be spent to upgrade a rotation that has Garrett Richards for a third starter and some combination of Joe Blanton, Jerome Williams, Tommy Hanson, Wade LeBlanc and Chris Volstad next on the depth chart (Williams and Hanson are both non-tender candidates). The money would have been better used there. Between Frieri, De La Rosa, a much improved Michael Kohn, old standby Kevin Jepsen and other pieces like Ryan Brasier, Cory Rasmus, Juan Gutierrez and the newly acquired Fernando Salas, it seems like the Angels could have cobbled together the right-handed portion of their pen just fine.

  1. NYTolstoy - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    What happend to the Angels? They were run by a smart organization and a great coach. Ever since they started spending they seemed to have gone off the deep end and spend like Steinbrenner used too. AJ Wilson deal the Pujols deal and Hamilton signing. They’re giving 15 mil to a reliever when they should be looking at their starters. I have always respected the Angels and the way they ran the organization, but some of this makes you scratch your head in confusion.

    • biasedhomer - Nov 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      Management has been pretty bad over the past few years:
      Trading away Napoli in a package for Vernon Wells
      Trading for Kazmir, who seemed like he was lost with the Rays
      Trading for Corbin and Skaggs in a deal for Haren
      Horrible signings of Fernando Rodney, Joe, Blanton, Pujols, and Hamilton (CJ Wilson signing is not too bad)
      Trading Jean Segura for half a season of Grienke

      They have made some smart moves like not resigning Lackey and Figgins, drafting and developing Trout, and locking up Weaver, but it seems like there are many more bad moves than good.

      • biasedhomer - Nov 24, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        “Trading Corbin and Skaggs in a deal for Haren”*

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 24, 2013 at 2:09 PM

      The owner is kind of a bum. I’m not a Moreno fan. The Disney ownership wasn’t much better though.

  2. mvd513 - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Omg they’re short 5 millions $ now! Big deal, that 1 1/2 utility IFs. 5 mil is nothing. If 5 mil hurts any team, they’re lying. The only thing hindering a rotation upgrade is the 50 million going to Hamilton and Pujols.

    • NYTolstoy - Nov 24, 2013 at 1:34 AM

      Man someone sounds pissed. all I said was it was an odd signing. I’ve said that about shumaker and I’ve said it for the Johnson signing. no need to get all pissy about it.

  3. deaninajijic - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Wilson had a very good year, Pujols was injured and Hamilton who knows. The bullpen was hugely inconsistent last year. Yes we need starters. Howie Kendricks will proba bly go for one, and Maybe a free agent will sign. Not being critical, it’s C.J. Wilson.

  4. markofapro - Nov 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    It’s a good deal. The Angels actually acquired pitching.

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