The Oakland A's announced the addition of right-hander Josh Smith off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. Smith, a 29-year-old native of Florida, appeared in 32 games for the Reds in 2016.
Smith was a 21st-round pick of the Reds in 2010 out of Lipscomb. He has primarily been a starter during his minor league career, although 30 of his 32 major-league appearances in 2016 came in relief. He made seven starts and two relief appearances for Cincinnati in 2015.
Smith has a career minor league ERA of 3.60 in 830 innings. He has struck-out 772 and walked 257. At the big league level, he has a 5.48 ERA in 92 innings with a 78:47 K:BB.
A big-bodied righty, Smith features a fastball, slider, curveball and change-up. His fastball sits in the low-90s and tops out at 93 and his slider is his most frequently used secondary pitch. Smith showed good command early in his career, but as he advanced to the upper-levels, that command wavered at times. He walked more than five per nine innings in his first stint in the big leagues in 2015, but he improved that ratio to 3.92 in the big leagues in 2016. He had a 2.60 walk rate per nine innings in 45 Triple-A innings for Louisville in 2016.
Smith is in his third option year, so he gives the A's some depth that they can move back-and-forth between Triple-A and the big leagues in 2017, if needed.