Diamondbacks take Addison Reed out of the closer’s role

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Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale has taken Addison Reed out of the closer’s role, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports. Hale plans to play the match-ups rather than name a new closer, but veteran Brad Ziegler will likely end up seeing most of the save chances.

Reed, 26, recently blew a save in spectacular fashion when he served up a go-ahead grand slam to Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor on Wednesday. He’s only 2-for-4 in save opportunities while allowing eight runs on 15 hits and four walks while striking out 10 in 10 innings of work. Reed wasn’t that reliable last year, either, when he finished 32-for-38 in save chances with a 4.25 ERA and a 69/15 K/BB ratio in 59 1/3 innings.

Ziegler, 35, has quietly been among baseball’s most consistently reliable relievers since 2008. Never a full-time closer, he has a career 2.52 ERA with a 315/169 K/BB ratio in 475 innings. Jonny Venters is the only reliever with a higher ground ball rate (68.4%) than Ziegler (65.9%) since the start of the ’08 season.

Braves sign reliever Will Smith to three-year, $39 million contract

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The Braves announced on Thursday that the club has inked lefty reliever Will Smith to a three-year, $39 million contract with a club option for the 2023 season worth $13 million. Smith received a qualifying offer worth $17.8 million from the Giants, so he opted for a lower average annual value for a longer contract.

Smith, 30, was an All-Star last season with the Giants, finishing with 34 saves, a 2.76 ERA, and a 96/21 K/BB ratio across 65 1/3 innings. Across parts of seven seasons in the majors, he has a 3.53 ERA.

Smith, the top free agent left-handed reliever, will join a strong Braves bullpen which already includes Mark Melancon, Shane Greene, and Sean Newcomb.