Twins sign side-arming righty Joe Smith for bullpen depth

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins and right-handed reliever Joe Smith finalized a one-year contract on Sunday, adding a veteran arm to a bullpen in need of more depth.

Smith pitched in 50 combined games last season for Houston and Seattle, posting a 4.99 ERA in 39 2/3 innings. The side-arm thrower has pitched for seven major league teams over 15 years, with a career 3.09 ERA and a .229 opponent batting average. He opted out of the 2020 season with the Astros due to COVID-19 concerns.

Smith turns 38 on Tuesday. He was drafted in the third round in 2006 by the New York Mets and made his debut with the club the following year.

Smith will likely complement Tyler Duffey and Jorge Alcala as the primary right-handed setup men for closer Taylor Rogers. Twins relievers ranked 20th in the majors last season with a 4.39 ERA.


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