Chicago Cubs Acquire Joe Smith

If the 2016 trade deadline has taught us anything, it’s that relief pitching is at a premium. The Chicago Cubs continued to add to their bullpen on Monday with the acquisition of reliever Joe Smith from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Chicago Cubs Acquire Joe Smith

The 32-year-old was originally taken in the third round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the New York Mets. He was traded to the Cleveland Indians following the 2008 season, where he spent five seasons. Following the 2014 season, he signed a three-year, $15.75 million contract with the Angels. In 2016, Smith is 1-4 with a 3.82 ERA. Smith experienced his finest season in 2014, in which he finished with a 1.81 ERA over 76 appearances with a 0.80 WHIP. If he returns to anything resembling that form, he could very well end up becoming a key component in a deep postseason run.

Including the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees, the Cubs have made a point to shore up the back end of their bullpen. Smith will become a free agent following this season, so it appears that this is just a rental for the rest of 2016.

The Cubs sent right-handed pitcher Jesus Castillo to the Angels to complete the trade. The 20-year-old Venezuela native has spent the entire 2016 season with Low-A Eugene and is 2-3 with a 3.27 ERA. Like the rest of the league, the Cubs have shown little hesitation to surrender prospects for experienced relievers.

The Cubs currently sit atop the National League Central division, 7.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Main Photo