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San Francisco Giants: Building a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco Giants Trade Proposal #2

To Brewers: LHP Will Smith
To Giants: OF Tristen Lutz, RHP Zack Brown, OF Larry Ernesto

This would be a tough pill for Milwaukee Brewers fans to swallow.

The San Francisco Giants originally acquired Will Smith from the Brewers back in 2016 in exchange for prospects Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac.

In the years since, neither has developed into a contributor at the MLB level, while Smith has developed into one of the best closers in baseball. In fact, he’ll probably be in higher demand than Bumgarner at the deadline.

More from Around the Foghorn

Pairing Smith with Josh Hader would give the Brewers an elite duo at the back of the bullpen. Obviously, other teams like the Cubs, Rays, Phillies, Twins, and many other contenders will have the same idea.

I mentioned outfielder Tristen Lutz on the previous slide, and I think the Brewers might be more inclined to include him for Smith.

The 20-year-old is a right-handed hitting corner outfielder who projects to have average tools across the board with 55/60 power. He’s already holding his own at High-A where he’s hitting .247/.329/.430. While he’s not currently performing at the same incredible level as Giants prospect Heliot Ramos, he would still be a great addition to develop alongside him.

Now that Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff have reached the majors, Zack Brown is arguably Milwaukee’s top pitching prospect. Granted, that’s not saying a whole lot. Trey Supak is performing very well at Double-A but is already 23 and projects at the back of the rotation. Aaron Ashby is still at least a season away from being in big league consideration and Drew Rassmussen’s injury raises questions about his long-term substantially.

Brown has struggled mightily to start the season. He’s pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, but he’s not missing bats and he’s walking more players than he should with 37 free passes in 65.2 innings. The 24-year-old has a complex delivery and relies heavily on a fastball-curveball mix that has long had scouts worried he will need to move to the pen. If the Brewers believe that’s the case, letting him go for Smith could be an easier decision.

Larry Ernesto is an intriguing 18-year-old who performed well in his first tastes of pro ball. He should be able to stick in center field and could develop solid power as his body matures.

The Brewers front office might have a hard time moving this much prospect talent for a bullpen arm when there’s still a pressing need in the rotation. Perhaps Lutz and Ernesto alone could be packaged to get Sam Dyson, who would offer a nice platoon complement to Hader.

Still, the market for Smith will be intense. If they believe another lock-down reliever is necessary to get them over the top, they shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger. Just ask Chicago Cubs fans if they regret trading Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman. Go get a ring and worry about the rest later.

Next. Building a trade with the Chicago Cubs

If the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants are going to match up on a deal, it could very well look something like this.

Previous Editions: Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs.

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