The San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers made a trade in 2016, sending relief pitcher Will Smith to the Giants in exchange for prospects.
While the prospects didn’t pan out for the Brewers, Smith did. Smith has been excellent for the Giants as he took over the closer role in 2018. Heading into 2019, he is one of the most affordable, talented relief pitchers in baseball. He is left handed, can get right handed hitters out, and can proven to be durable after Tommy John surgery in 2017.
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Enter the San Francisco Giants and their bullpen depth. Specifically, their closer who has ties to the Brewers organization.
While team president, Farhan Zaidi, considers his bullpen a strength and a huge part of how to be competitive in 2019, there is no denying that moving Smith is a way to create a more balanced roster at other places of need.
Smith is making $4.225 million dollars in 2019 and is someone they know well. For a team primed to return to the post season in 2019, it would make sense for the Brewers to sacrifice prospects for a chance at a dominant bullpen once again.
The Giants also know the Brewers organization more than most, as they recently hired, Zack Minasian, who worked for 15 years in the Milwaukee organization.
Adding Smith also wouldn’t preclude them from going after Kimbrel or anyone else, as Smith has shown he can pitch anywhere in the bullpen hierarchy.
As the Giants face a numbers crunch of their own with more bullpen arms than spots for their Opening day roster, this seems like a match.