Did the Miami Marlins make a mistake?
The Miami Marlins are going all-in to make the playoffs. Making the playoffs will be hard if the bullpen isn't strong and able to close-out games. Last season The Fish lost a higher than average amount of one-run games and are now dealing with some health issues in the bullpen. That is why I was surprised to wake up this morning and read that the Texas Rangers signed reliever Will Smith for $1.5 million (with $2.5 million in incentives).
The Miami Marlins missed out on signing a relief pitcher.
Will Smith is a veteran lefty relief pitcher who started his career with the Kansas City Royals in 2012. He was initially a starting pitcher, but delivered a 5.32 ERA/4.66 FIP with 5.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 16 games and 89.2 innings pitched in 2012. In 2013 he switched to being a relief pitcher and delivered a 3.24 ERA/3.53 FIP with 11.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 19 games and 33.1 innings pitched. He was traded by Kansas City to the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the following season.
Will Smith pitched from 2014-2015 with Milwaukee and delivered a 3.21 ERA/2.87 FIP with 12.3 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in 154 games and 129.0 innings pitched. This catapulted Smith onto a level of the top relievers in the game. He split 2016 between Milwaukee and the San Francisco Giants (Milwaukee traded him to San Francisco), and delivered a 3.35 ERA/3.15 FIP with 10.7 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 53 games and 40.1 innings pitched.
He continued pitching for San Francisco in 2018-2019 and delivered a 2.66 ERA/2.71 FIP with 12.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 117 games and 118.1 innings pitched. He also added 48 saves as he took over as San Francisco's closer during that time. He moved on to the Atlanta Braves and pitched for them in 2020-2021 delivering a 3.64 ERA/4.78 FIP with 11.3 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 89 games and 84.0 innings pitched. He also added 37 saves. He also helped Atlanta win the World Series in 2021.
Will Smith split 2022 between Atlanta and the Houston Astros, delivering a 3.97 ERA/4.26 FIP with 9.9 K/9 and 3.8 B/9 in 65 games and 59.0 innings pitched. It was clear that the 33 year old wasn't as effective as he once was, but he still may have something left in the tank and the price was very cheap. I think that Kim Ng should've made a bigger push to bring him in, bullpen depth is important.