Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – Right-hander Joe Smith has made it clear to the Cleveland Indians management that he wants to keep pitching for them.
“Definitely. They know it. They all know it,” said Smith, one of seven potential free agents. “We’ll see how it goes.”
The Indians 2013 campaign ended with a one-game 4-0 Wild Card loss to the Tampa Bay Rays Oct. 2, and they have their sights toward the 2014 campaign.
Smith is convinced that beter days are ahead for the Indians.
“It’s a young team, and nobody expected us to do what we did this year. If you look at it from a positive standpoint, at least we got a taste of [the playoffs],” said Smith.
“It just gives these guys coming in next year, all of us, whoever is here, it just gives you that much more incentive. When you get that taste, you want more of it.”
Smith made at least 70 appearances per season since 2011, and he turned in another impressive campaign this year. The right-hander posted an ERA and WHIP of 2.29 and 1.222 over 63 innings.
In his five years with the Tribe, Smith posted a 2.76 ERA across 303 games, striking out 214 and walking 106 over 271 innings. Over the past three seasons, he ranked 11th in the Majors in groundouts (314) and eighth in baseball in relief appearances (213).
In his final year, Smith received $3.15 million. He has a solid track record, so he could garner a multi-year commitment on the open market.
The right-hander was acquired from the Mets in a three-team, 11-player trade in December 2008.