The Kansas City Royals have agreed to a deal with free agent relief pitcher Will Smith, per reports. Smith is getting a one year deal for $5 million.
The 34 year old lefty didn’t sign last offseason until early March, when he ended up on the Rangers on a one year, $1.5 million deal. Smith started the year strong for the Rangers, and was the team’s closer for a while, but had an awful final two months of the season, ultimately ending up with a 4.40 ERA in 57 innings over 60 games. He appeared in five games in the postseason, allowing four runs in 4.1 IP.
Smith is getting a hefty raise over what he ended up settling for in 2023, and it may very well be that after last offseason’s experience, he preferred to go ahead and take a solid deal relatively early on rather than wait and risk having to accept much less. Smith provides the Royals with a veteran presence who does a good job retiring lefthanded hitters, and he will probably be on the move in late July to a contender seeking bullpen help.