Will Smith signs with Braves in MLB's first significant offseason move

The Atlanta Braves needed a closer. And Will Smith — the former San Francisco Giants reliever, not the Fresh Prince — was looking for a new home as the top-ranked closer on this offseason’s free-agent list.

That’s a perfect offseason match.

The Braves announced Thursday that they’d signed the 30-year-old Smith to a three-year deal with $39 million, with a club option for 2023 that would pay $13 million.

Neither Smith nor the Braves were waiting around. Smith was given a qualifying offer by the Giants, which essentially extended a one-year deal worth $17.8 million. The deadline to accept or decline such offers was Thursday at 5 p.m. ET.

Obviously Smith declined his and now will take his bullpen success to Atlanta, a team that’s looking to make the next step after two years of early postseason exits. Smith had 34 saves and a 2.76 ERA in 63 appearances last year for the Giants. He was an All-Star for the first time.

The Braves, meanwhile, had a 4.18 bullpen ERA, which ranked 11th in the league, so it wasn’t terrible, but they had 11 different pitchers notch saves last season.

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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr.
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Atlanta Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr.
MESA, AZ - NOVEMBER 07: Ronald Acuna #34 of Peoria Javelinas (ATL) smiles after singling against the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League game at Sloan Park on November 11, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Ronald Acuna #24 of the Atlanta Braves and the World Team fields the ball against the U.S. Team during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 9: Ronald Acuna #24 of the World Team and Atlanta Braves bats during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Marlins Park on July 9, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - NOVEMBER 07: Ronald Acuna #34 of Peoria Javelinas (ATL) singles against the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League game at Sloan Park on November 11, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
MESA, AZ - NOVEMBER 07: Ronald Acuna #34 of Peoria Javelinas (ATL) reacts in the dugout against the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League game at Sloan Park on November 11, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Ronald Acuna Jr. (82) of the Braves hustles down to first base during the spring training game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves on February 26, 2018, at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, FL. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01: Ronald Acuna Jr. #82 (L) and Ozzie Albies #1 of the Atlanta Braves talk during the Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2018 in Lakeland, Florida. The Braves defeated the Tigers 5-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FL - MARCH 01: Ronald Acuna Jr. #82 of the Atlanta Braves bats during the Spring Training game against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2018 in Lakeland, Florida. The Braves defeated the Tigers 5-2. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MARCH 13: Ronald Acuna #82 of the Atlanta Braves head to the dugout in the fourth inning during the spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays at Champion Stadium on March 13, 2018 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MARCH 13: Ronald Acuna #82 of the Atlanta Braves in action during the spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays at Champion Stadium on March 13, 2018 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ronald Acuna
ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 27: Atlanta Braves CF Ronald Jr. Acuna (82) during the MLB Spring Training baseball game between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves on March 27, 2018, at SunTrust Field in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 18: Atlanta Braves Non-Roster Invitee Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (82) celebrates scoring a run with teammates in the dugout during an MLB spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida on March 18, 2018. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MARCH 13: Ronald Acuna #82 of the Atlanta Braves in action during the spring training game between the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays at Champion Stadium on March 13, 2018 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Ronald Acuna
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