The San Francisco Giants rumors are starting to fly, and it looks like the reigning Willie Mac Award winner could be on his way out.
The San Francisco Giants rumors mill is churning already in the Winter Meetings, with more action in the first two days than we had almost the entire winter meetings in 2019. Today’s rumor is about 2018 Willie Mac Award winner, Will Smith.
According to Mark Saxon, who covers the Cardinals for The Athletic, the San Francisco Giants have been getting plenty of inquiries on Will Smith, and the Cardinals are the most aggressive of pursuers. He also added that the Giants seem like they want to hold onto Smith.
Smith, coming off of Tommy John surgery, posted the best season of his career in 2018. His 2.55 ERA in 53 innings with the peripherals to match led him to a 2.0 fWAR season which was good for T-6th in all of MLB for relievers. Smith was an extremely valuable piece for the Giants in a season where the bullpen was up and down with health and consistency.MmA
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Saxon is correct in that the Giants wouldn’t want to lose him. That just means that the Cardinals would likely have to pay a hefty price to get him. If the price is good enough, should the Giants take it, or leave it?
Trading Smith, along with the Brandon Belt and Madison Bumgarner rumors, would signal that the Giants are instead rebuilding for 2019, instead of competing. However, just trading Smith alone wouldn’t quite do that. Smith should have good value in that despite having a year left on his contract. He comes at a cheap price for the production. But should the Giants move on?
Smith has his injury history, and any pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery usually poses some red-flags. Smith however, had a full season to prove he’s back so the questions of his arm and longevity might be a little far fetched. He’s valuable as a multi-inning option, or even a ninth inning option.
In my opinion, if the Giants want to re-tool for 2019 with a hope of competing now, but an eye to the future, moving Smith is a good thing. It would line up with that motive. But, if the Giants are intent on competing for the west and the postseason in 2019, then they better hold on to a valuable asset.