Rangers Signing Lefty Will Smith, Which Makes Me Wonder If Other Free Agent Deals Are Coming Soon … (UPDATES: Brad Hand to Rockies)
One of the three main lefty relievers still on the free agent market is now off the board, with the Texas Rangers having signed Will Smith to a one-year deal.
The terms aren’t out there yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see that Smith wound up getting much less than most were expecting back at the start of the offseason. Recall, Andrew Chafin was the first of the remaining lefties to sign, and he got way less than folks were expecting.
I’m going to do some rank speculation here: the Rangers were big in on Zack Britton (they were one of the six teams that scouted him, and his is the profile of pitcher they’ve been heavy on lately). Thus, the fact that they’ve now signed Smith tells me that Britton made a decision, and it wasn’t the Rangers.
Stay tuned, because it’s *POSSIBLE* something could shake loose on Britton (or Brad Hand) soon. Jed Hoyer this week said he wouldn’t be shocked if the Cubs landed another free agent, and the implication was that it COULD be one of the lefty relievers. So, basically, what I’m saying is that it’s possible the Cubs are landing Britton soon. I mean, he could go somewhere else – multiple teams were in on him – but there are dots here.
UPDATE: Just to confirm that Smith’s deal is super cheap:
UPDATE 2: Sure enough, there’s lefty number two of the day:
So Brad Hand gets a similarly small deal, and now there’s just Zack Britton (and Mike Minor, I suppose, but I’m not sure of his health status, and he’s been terrible the last few years as a starting pitcher).