Former Braves closer Will Smith find new home

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Will Smith inked one of the largest contracts for a free agent of the Alex Anthopoulos era, signing a three-year, $40 million deal prior to the 2020 campaign. His entire body of work in Atlanta was underwhelming, accruing -0.3 fWAR over two-and-a-half seasons with the team. However, his reliability during the Braves World Series run in 2021 made it all worth it. Smith appeared in 11 games, holding opponents scoreless and racking up seven saves. He was nearly flawless, and it was critical to helping the Braves win their first championship since 1995.

At last year’s trade deadline, Smith was dealt to the Astros — where he picked up another ring, even if he didn’t contribute during the postseason. He did look better with Houston during the regular season, posting a 3.27 ERA and 2.66 FIP over 22 innings. Smith is still a major-league caliber reliever that can contribute to a competitive team, and he’ll be aiming to do so again in the state of Texas.

Today, Bob Nightengale reported that the 33-year-old has signed a major-league contract with the Rangers.

The Rangers will be an intriguing team to watch this season. They’ve spent over half-a-billion dollars in free agency over the last two offseasons, and it’s about time they start seeing the results. Pitching was the issue for this team a year ago, and Smith should be a quality addition to a bullpen that needs more pieces.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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