Cross another need off the list of needs. As per Buster Only -
Joe Smith's deal with the Jays: a $3 million base with $500K in performance bonuses.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 7, 2017
The Blue Jays have signed right-handed relief pitcher, Joe Smith, to a one year. The deal includes a $3MM base salary with $500k in performance bonuses. The deal is striking similar to J.P. Howell's deal that was announced not that long ago. Thus, filling another much needed bullpen hole, leaving the only real "need," if you think it is one (and I do) to be a backup outfielder besides Ezequiel Carrera.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. The Jays will most likely evaluate what they have in the corner outfield in Spring Training and go from there. Who knows?! Maybe Dalton Pompey may finally be a break-out candidate during Spring Training and be a serviceable replacement outfielder (although, I'm not really counting on it). But I digress...
The 33 year old Joe Smith was pretty decent last season with the Angels and Cubs, with a 3.46 ERA over 54 appearances and a very unconventional side-arm delivery. His sinker averages around 88 mph, and has the ability to throw batters off with his delivery, thus creating soft contact. Although he may not be a name that will perk up heads, you have to take into consideration that Smith was attractive enough for the Cubs to want to trade for him at last year's deadline for their bullpen. Which.... hey, it's something!
Smith should slide right into a middle-relief role, bridging the gap between the starters and either Osuna or Grilli. I understand it's not a big name signing, but neither was Grilli last year and that ended up being beyond serviceable (even though that was a trade... but still!). Basically, with bullpen pieces, you just don't know. I'm not a huge fan of offering relief-pitchers huge contracts, unless it is a huge exception (looking at you, Andrew Miller). So acquiring someone as a bullpen piece to bridge some gaps who's name is not Aaron Loup..... yeah, I'll take it.
Don't get caught up in the name. Just wait and see how it unfolds before you bitch. (Fun Tip: You should read the previous sentence to yourself before and during every Blue Jays game.)
So... yeah! A signing!