Los Angeles Angels Joe Smith: Is He On The Move?
By Devin Lintao
With the Los Angeles Angels looking to salvage the remainder of the season, and the trading deadline quickly approaching, who are the going to move? When are they going to move them? Where are the going to move them? Will anyone ACTUALLY be moved?
The Los Angeles Angels find themselves right in the middle of the hot stove season, and with many names circulating around the rumor mill, veteran reliever, Joe Smith has been a name highlighted in these discussions.
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Smith, a 32-year old RHP is a very interesting case, and intriguing to many teams. Why? His different arm angle (slightly higher then a submarine style pitcher, yet a bit lower then a side-armer) could be seen as + potential for any team in contention looking to bolster their pen.
His experience only increases his value, and obtaining a potential piece to the puzzle like Smith, would not cost a team interested all that much. So, why not take that chance?
Of teams that have showed interest in Smith, the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians, are 2 potential landing spots for a reunion. Smith started his Major League career with the Metropolitans back in 2007 and was a member of the team through 2008. He also pitched for the Tribe from 2009-2013 before joining with the Halos. In addition, Smith has also drawn significant interest from the Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals. All teams in the playoff picture. or not to far out of the race, with one thing in common, they all need bullpen help.
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It is also worth noting that Smith also has ties with the Mariners, as Seattle’s GM, Jerry Dipoto (former Angels GM) has made it very clear on how he views his former player. During his time with the Angels, Dipoto was the man in charge (2011-2015) when it ultimately came down to extending Smith, or letting him test free agency.
This year, Smith holds a 3.96 ERA, with 25 strikeouts, and six saves over the course of 35 1/3 IP with a 1.32 WHIP. Out of all relief pitchers currently available on the market, ESPN’s, Jim Bowden (analyst) ranks Smith the 13th best option out there out of 14, one spot higher then his teammate, Huston Street.
If there’s ever a time to move these guys, it’s now. Considering, Smith is in the final year of a $15.75 million dollar deal over 3 years, and is scheduled to be a free-agent at the end of this year.
While it will be hard to let Smith go, it may be the move that makes the most sense. Cam Bedrosian is now filling the role of set-up man, that Smith has held over the past two-and-a-half seasons. Couple that with the fact that Smith is a free agent after the season, and if the Angels trade him now at east they will get something in return. The next two days will tell the story…