The Athletics announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Josh Smith off waivers from the Reds.
Smith, 29, has picked up 92 1/3 innings for the Reds over the past two seasons but struggled at the Major League level, yielding a 5.46 ERA with 7.6 K/9 against 4.6 BB/9 and a 40.5 percent ground-ball rate. His numbers did take a step forward in 2016 thanks largely to improved control (3.9 BB/9 in 59 2/3 innings), though the resulting 4.68 earned run average is still fairly pedestrian. Smith averaged just under 91 mph on his heater this season while appearing in 32 games (two starts), and he does own a more encouraging 4.28 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 290 1/3 innings in Triple-A over the course of his professional career.
Smith does have minor league options remaining, so if he survives the offseason on Oakland’s 40-man roster, he won’t need to make the team right out of Spring Training and can function as a minor league depth piece.