Did the Kansas City Royals just win the 2024 World Series? That is what the rumor is after signing former SF Giants reliever Will Smith to a one-year, $5 million pact. Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report the news.
Former SF Giants All-Star reliever reunites with Royals on one-year deal
Many of you probably have hobbies outside of baseball, so I will elaborate. Smith has had a very fortuitous track record lately, winning the World Series in three straight seasons. He won a ring with the Atlanta Braves in 2021, the Houston Astros in 2022, and the Texas Rangers this past season.
And, he is getting ready to bring another championship to Kansas City. Interestingly, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith won a World Series with the club in 2020, so make that four straight years for players named Will Smith.
For the lefty reliever, he returns to the team that he debuted with back in 2012. Smith spent the first two years of his career before making stops with the Milwaukee Brewers, Giants, Braves, Astros, and Rangers.
Perhaps, his best run came with San Francisco where he posted a 2.70 ERA, 2.58 FIP, 1.03 WHIP, 12.7 K/9, and a 4.29 SO/W rate in parts of three seasons. This includes a strong 2019 campaign in which he tallied a 2.70 ERA in 63 outings while earning his first and only NL All-Star nod.
The veteran pitcher became a free agent following that season. He rejected a qualifying offer from the Giants before signing a three-year, $39 million deal with a club option for a fourth season. He became a free agent last year after that club option was declined and signed with the Rangers late in the offseason.
The 34-year-old put together a quality season, recording a 4.40 ERA and a 3.36 FIP across 57.1 frames for the Rangers. The Rangers' bullpen struggled for much of the year, but it did not impact their ability to win some of the biggest games of the season.
Smith continues to rack up strikeouts at a healthy rate and limiting walks while flashing a slider that continues to be tough on opposing hitters. Plus, he will likely be looked to as a veteran voice for a young Royals club.