Reportedly Joe Smith has signed a 3 year, $15 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Smith has been a mainstay in the Cleveland bullpen for the past few years, and experienced winning this past year with the Tribe. The sidearmer hit free agency for the first time and was bound to be in demand. Smith was nice enough to be my first professional interview a few weeks back and provide some insight that makes this signing make sense.
Smith is engaged and his wife to be works in the television industry. Smith made it clear that living near LA or New York would be best for her career and would be his preference. The Angles obviously fit for this need. Smith clearly was not going to play for a rebuilding or perennial losing team. While he may of been able to sign with a team such as the Houston Astros as their closer but was unwilling to continually miss the playoffs.
Smith made it clear that he would be interested in returning to the Indians but was looking for a 3 year deal and knew it was unlikely to come from Cleveland. The Indians history is to build their bullpen from their minor leagues or through trades. Signing bullpen members to long term deals hasn’t fit, giving a non-closer $5 million for 3 years was not going to happen.
Smith, an Ohio native, presented himself humbly with great loyalty. For him it was a perfect combination of a great contract for the right number of years, in one of 2 cities that fit for his fiance and a historically winning team. For Smith the hope is that the money put into Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton as well as the continued development of Mike Trout puts the Angles back in the playoffs.
We at Factory of Sadness with Joe Smith all the luck in his future endeavors.