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Dodgers Free Agency: Braves Take Will Smith Off the Market

Scratch that name off the board.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 02: Will Smith #13 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the San Diego Padres in the top of the seventh inning at AT&T Park on May 2, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Early in the off-season the Dodgers were linked to free agent left-handed reliever Will Smith, formerly of the San Francisco Giants. The closer inked a 3-year, $39M deal with the Atlanta Braves.

With Kenley Jansen in tow, and a qualifying offer attached to Smith, chances were slim that Los Angeles would go beyond kicking the tires on the lefty. But to kick tires (as it were) on baseball players, usually the player needs to be on the market for a little while. Moreover, the early inking could be marking a change from hot stoves past.

This topic is something that was addressed by MLB super-agent Scott Boras at the GM meetings on Wednesday in Arizona.

“Clubs are wanting meetings and wanting to get in front of the players.They’re all telling me they want to make much earlier decisions. I did not hear any of that last year.”

In recent off-seasons, of course, players like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado (bonafide top-tier talents) didn’t sign deals until February. Moreover, secondary talent like Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Kuechel had to wait until the middle of the season.

Knowing that it’s starting to get tougher to get big money later into the off-season (Yasmani Grandal comes to mind), it seems that the direction of Smith’s camp was to get him signed early.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic shared this tweet.

In the end, Smith’s agent Jeff Berry played the Braves perfectly.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

9 Comments

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  1. Typical. What the Dodgers do is wait until the last part of free agency and end up with guys like Pollock and Kelly you know, left overs. Guess they are wanting Kenley and his 9 blown saves to be the closer.

  2. This isn’t who we should be spending on anyway. Go get Strasburg,Cole, Rendon, and Bentances. Anything short of this would be a failure I don’t care what anyone says and yes they can afford it

  3. the dodgers should have signed smith as soon as he hit free agency if they hope to get to the world series and win it smith is the right guy to help now it is too late the braves just got a lot better too

  4. Smith wanted to sign early and he wanted to go home to Georgia, so the Dodgers would have had to have wildly overpaid. Unfortunately, that pretty much guts the reliever market, leaving the Dodgers to go back to the bullpen dumpster diving that hasn’t worked for the past three years. Every time the Dodgers miss out on a free agent, it makes it more likely they will have to either go without (titles!) or overspend prospects in a trade (Alvarez for Fields). Neither of which is a good option. All the discussion of what it would take to get Lindor is the perfect example of that. If the Dodgers want to improve the best way is to spend money. They are basically printing it these days.

    • BLUE LOU! hello from myself and PD Jr. It would appear to get BP help, a trade of sorts would have to be completed but there are key FA’s to be had without dealing top propsects that it would take to get anyone of value. For example , every team as I understand it told Freidman at last year’s deadline that if Lux was not part of a deal, then forget the dealing.

  5. Get used to it dodger fans, this is exactly the player we needed. Our bullpen was horrible this year and the exact reason Kershaw was brought in only to give it up. The front office will wait until May to sign some 36 year old crafty veteran with a 6.74 ERA.

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