Royals sign LHP Will Smith to one-year Major League contract

December 11th, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Will Smith to a one-year Major League contract. In a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Collin Snider was designated for assignment and Kansas City’s Major League Reserve List remains at 40.

Smith, 34, posted a 4.40 ERA (28 ER in 57.1 IP) across 60 appearances for the World Series champion Texas Rangers in 2023, striking out 55 batters and walking just 17 batters (4 intentionally). A veteran of 11 Major League seasons, the southpaw has amassed 33 wins and 113 saves over 573 appearances.

Smith is rejoining the Royals after starting his career with Kansas City in 2012-13, during which he went 8-10 with a 4.76 ERA (65 ER in 123.0 IP) over 35 games (17 starts) before he was dealt to Milwaukee on Dec. 5, 2013 for outfielder Nori Aoki.

Smith has famously been a part of each of the last three World Series champion rosters, with Texas (2023), Houston (2022) and Atlanta (2021), becoming the first player in MLB history to win three consecutive titles with three different franchises. Named an All-Star in 2019, he owns a lifetime 2.91 ERA (7 ER in 21.2 IP) across 25 postseason outings, including 4 victories and 6 saves. He has pitched to a 3.38 ERA (2 ER in 5.1 IP) in 6 World Series games.

Originally selected by Tampa Bay in the 40th round of the 2007 Draft out of Northgate High School (Ga.), he pursued his education at Gulf Coast State College (Fla.) and was selected in the 7th round of the Draft by the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. He was acquired by Kansas City on July 22, 2010 with right-handed pitcher Sean O’Sullivan for infielder Alberto Callaspo.

Snider, 28, has appeared in 62 games over the last two seasons for the Royals, combining to go 4-2 with a 5.93 ERA (36 ER in 54.2 IP), including 20 games in 2023.