This afternoon, the Braves announced their first signing from outside the organization of this free agency period. Remember, last week, they re-signed relief pitcher Josh Tomlin. Today, they inked veteran left-handed pitcher Drew Smyly to a one-year, $11 million contract.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 16, 2020
Smyly’s career got off to a scorching hot start. He posted a 3.24 ERA from 2012-2015 in 126 games (55 starts). However, injuries soon plagued him and kept him off the mound for 2017 and 2018.
Smyly returned to the majors in 2019 with the Rangers, but it wasn’t pretty. He posted an 8.24 ERA in 13 appearances (nine starts) before Texas released him. The Phillies picked him up, and he finished the season with them, starting 12 games and recording a much more respectable 4.45 ERA.
The Giants signed Smyly before the 2020 campaign. Injuries limited him to just seven appearances (five starts); however, he did post excellent numbers over a small sample size, boasting a 3.42 ERA and 2.01 FIP in 26.1 innings.
Smyly is a solid addition that should improve the back-end of the Braves starting rotation. But the one thing that stands out to me is the price tag. $11 million for a 4-5 guy in the rotation with an extensive injury history is pretty steep, especially considering the market this offseason. The Braves must feel like the 14.4 K/9 he posted last season is sustainable. If it is, this should turn out to be a worthwhile addition.
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