The Toronto Blue Jays pulled off their second deal of the day as they sent reliever, Joe Smith to Cleveland for minor league lefty and short stop
The Toronto Blue Jays have pulled off their second deal of the day. We’ve been following along all day, waiting for things to develop. After sending Francisco Liriano to Houston for a very nice return, they used arguably their best trade chip to help Cleveland boost their bullpen
Source: Joe Smith to #Indians.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2017
Early reports indicated that the return for Smith wouldn’t be as high as we might have liked. Apparently, two minor leaguers were all Ross Atkins could get from his old employer. That was confirmed by Paul Hoynes:
Indians send minor leaguers LHP Tom Pannone and SS Samad Taylor to Toronto for Joe Smith.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) July 31, 2017
That is not to say that this is not a good deal. But, there were rumblings that Smith might actually net the Blue Jays a significant package. In Pannone, the Blue Jays get a 23 yr old lefty who appears to have issues with his command. Though, that doesn’t tell the whole story. While his walk numbers are high, so too are his strike outs, combining to keep his WHIP low. Michael Hattery of WFNY profiled him as a back end bullpen possibility. Taylor is a young short stop with very little power to speak of, but he has a respectable on base rate. It is worth noting that this Blue Jays front office would be familiar with Cleveland’s system, which would have come into play, here.
LHP, Tom Pannone
|2016||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||8||5||2.57||25||24||133.0||104||38||8||41||122||6||2||1.090|
|2017||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A+||8||1||1.96||19||19||110.0||77||24||5||28||120||3||4||0.955|
SS, Samad Taylor
|11 Y||11 Y||11 Y||44||28||2.95||677||142||29||606.1||504||199||44||220||527||135||3.57||1.194|
Smith came to Toronto this past offseason on a one year deal and has been rather good. His 35.4% K rate was certainly a welcome sight when the bullpen had very few bright spots, save for Roberto Osuna. In fact, should the Blue Jays have been able to compete, this would have made a nice back end duo.
He would spend time on the DL with shoulder inflammation, but has returned in time to show that that is not an issue moving forward. It was enough to provide enough of a sample for another team to feel confident in bringing him aboard.
Instead, Smith will join Andrew Miller and give Cleveland quite a formidable group of relievers.
Adding a personal touch to this story is Bill Shaikin, who provides some interesting insight into Smith’s personal life that may have had some bearing on Toronto’s front office decisions.
Joe Smith's trade to Indians puts him within driving distance of his mom, who has Huntington's disease. He did fundraiser in CLE last week.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 31, 2017
Joe Smith says he came to ballpark at 1230 to get his mind off uncertainty. Cleveland only place he wanted to be traded to since it's home.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 31, 2017
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