The tale of the tape between San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith and the 2016 version of Aroldis Chapman, who netted the New York Yankees a huge haul in a rental trade.
The San Francisco Giants are going to get an excellent return for closer Will Smith on the trade market this summer.
The 29-year-old has unquestionably been one of the best late-inning relievers in baseball this season, converting all 21 of his save chances while posting stellar numbers across the board.
Any contender would benefit from adding him to the mix for the stretch run, and more than a few will have him at or near the top of their trade deadline wish list.
The same things were true of flame-thrower Aroldis Chapman leading up to the 2016 trade deadline when a New York Yankees team that was hovering around .500 decided to sell.
The Yankees ended up shipping Chapman to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a four-player package that was headlined by elite prospect Gleyber Torres, who has since turned into a star and a cornerstone piece.
Expecting a similar return for Smith might seem like wishful thinking on the part of the San Francisco Giants.
But is it really?
Here’s a look at how Smith’s performance so far this year stacks up to what Chapman did with the Yankees prior to being traded in 2016:
That’s right, folks.
Across the board, Smith is having a better season than Chapman did pre-trade back in 2016.
Of course, Chapman was more established as a ninth-inning staple at the time with 166 career saves to his credit, compared to just 36 career saves on Smith’s resume.
However, track record doesn’t play as big of a role as you might think when operating in the small bubble that comes with acquiring a rental player.
What Smith has done in the past and what he profiles to do in the future doesn’t matter. All the team that acquired him as a hired gun for the next three months cares about is what he’s going to do right now, and right now he’s one of the best relievers in baseball.
Is that enough for someone to cough up a Chapman-like haul to acquire him?
We’ll have our answer in the next month.
The San Francisco Giants front office can certainly make a compelling case that he’s every bit the same late-inning force that Aroldis Chapman was when he commanded a huge return in 2016.