When teams across Major League Baseball shop around in free agency during the off-season, they are typically looking for the most skilled players for the best price they can find. These are typically power-hitting position players, solidified high-leverage bullpen arms, or elite starting pitchers. The Atlanta Braves could have the opportunity to use a completely unorthodox approach: luck.
Relief pitcher Will Smith is now on his way to his third consecutive World Series after the Texas Rangers beat the Houston Astros in the ALCS. Smith won the World Series with the Braves in 2021 and was traded to the Astros in 2022 where he went on to win another championship. Now one year later, he has the opportunity to “3-peat” with the Texas Rangers.
If the Rangers do win the World Series, Smith would become the first player in MLB history to win 3 World Series in a row with 3 different teams.
The wildest part of this story is that Will Smith is not exactly an elite arm. He obviously is doing something right to stay in the big leagues for the past 11 seasons but is not a name that teams put at the top of their wish list.
Smith has a career ERA of 3.67 and an ERA of 4.40 in 2023 with a 2-7 record. Based on his stats alone in 2023, it's hard to imagine the Rangers being devastated if he were to walk in free agency. This is where the Atlanta Braves could step in and have a reunion with Will Smith.
If nothing else, Smith would add another veteran left-hander to the bullpen and would not have to be used in high-leverage situations like he was in 2021. Raisel Iglesias has the closer role on lockdown for Atlanta, meaning Smith would come into a lower-pressure situation.
This is obviously a long shot and very hypothetical but could it be worth the risk? At this stage in his career given his recent mediocre performance, the asking price for Will Smith could be very low. If the Braves believe in luck, maybe they feel that Will Smith could bring a four-leaf clover with him in a return to Atlanta and play in his fourth consecutive World Series in 2024.