In Ken Rosenthal’s latest news column he indicated that the Brewers are on the prowl for a left-handed reliever. He specifically mentions Matt Moore, Andrew Chafin, and Zack Britton as potential options. Outside of Moore, Chafin, and Britton, there are a few other players that Matt Arnold could consider. One left-handed reliever that is still available is Will Smith.
Smith previously played for the Brewers from 2014-2016. After Milwaukee, he played for the Giants, Braves, and Astros. He’s been a part of the last two World Series winning teams as the Braves won in 2021 and the Astros in 2022.
How has Will Smith performed lately? Should the Brewers consider a reunion with him?
In 2021, Smith converted on 37 out of 43 save opportunities with the Braves. That is his single season career high in saves and he accrued a 3.44 ERA that season. Last year, he had just five saves in eight chances with the Braves and after 41 appearances he had a 4.38 ERA. Given his struggles, he eventually was involved in a trade with the Astros as Jake Odorizzi ended up being sent to the Braves in return for Smith.
As a member of the Astros, Smith finished the season strong. He tossed 22 innings of 3.27 ERA ball, his strike out numbers increased, and walk numbers improved. Smith relied more heavily on his slider as a member of the Astros and made a few mechanical tweaks to help with location.
While in Houston, Smith was used in more low leverage situations. He was left off the ALDS and ALCS rosters, but was added to the World Series roster. Unfortunately, he did not pitch in a World Series game last year, but he did have four scoreless appearances with the Braves during the 2021 World Series.
At seasons end, the Astros ended up declining Smith’s $13MM 2023 option. His market value currently is not very high and he would be a great low risk high reward signing. It will be interesting to see if the Brewers target Smith or not for currently Hoby Milner is the only consistently used south paw in their bullpen.
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