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Yankees Free Agent Target: Joe Smith

Jason Miller

You've probably never heard of him, he has a pretty forgettable name, but Joe Smith has been very solid with his time on the Indians. If the Yankees plan to use David Robertson as their closer, they're going to need to find someone that can take D-Rob's place in the eighth inning and Smith could be that guy.

The side-arming righty has a career 2.97 ERA, 3.71 FIP, and 57.2 GB%, putting up the 18th lowest ERA (2.42) and 25th highest ground ball rate (54.8%) in the majors since 2011. While his peripherals aren't the greatest (7.39 K/9, 3.76 BB/9), he only has a 24.3% fly ball rate and hasn't had a home run rate hit 1.0 since 2009. Along with that, his ground ball tendencies will more than make him suitable for Yankee Stadium.

In 2013 he made $3 million in arbitration, so he could be in line for a raise. The good thing is that he doesn't have closer experience, so a set up role isn't off the table. Signing him to a two-year contract (or one-year with an option) at around $4-5 million a year could get it done for his age-30 and 31 seasons. Robertson is only signed through 2014, so the Yankees need insurance for 2015 and Smith needs to feel like he has a future as a closer if he takes this deal.

Mariano Rivera is gone now, so the Yankees bullpen roles are wide open for the first time in years. The Yankees don't normally sign free agent relievers, but this could be their chance to add some certainty for the team.

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