Before the start of the 2016 season many saw Will Smith trade possibilities, but all things changed when he tore the LCL in his right knee.
Yesterday, the Milwaukee Brewers started the trade season with 2B Aaron Hill going to the Red Sox for 2 prospects, so it’s time to look at the other possibilities. Relief pitcher Will Smith was the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers to start the season, but all things changed after his right knee injury.
Jeremy Jeffress has stepped into the role nicely with 23 saves, a 2.45 ERA and caught buzz right away from writers like Kyle Lobner about possible trades back in late May. While it looked like he’d be the one for sure to go if any relief pitcher was traded, Smith has been impressive recently in big time situations other than closing like facing big lefty hitters like Bryce Harper.
So far, Smith has become quite impressive with a 1.84 ERA, although in just 14.2 innings, but at least proves the injury doesn’t seem to be hurting him on the field. Other teams may question his strength down the road if it was an arm injury, it’d be a bit different after his leg injury in the “shower” incident.
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Looking at other trades at the deadline in the past, it’s pretty easy just to look at last year with Carlos Gomez where he was headed to the NY Mets, but they were concerned about his ailing hip. Then there was Matt Kemp being traded to the Padres in 2014.
Although, Kemp didn’t necessarily have injuries going on in 2014, he seemed to be having a recovery year as FanGraphs explained in 2013 he had hamstring, shoulder, ankle injuries that held many teams back from making a deal. Not to mention he had health issues the year before.
So, that might be the Milwaukee Brewers biggest issue is finding a team willing to take a risk. Teams by the end of July that haven’t seen themselves in this type of playoff position in many years (Cleveland Indians mentioned by Jon Heyman) or more likely teams that have the money to waste in case it doesn’t work out in the end.
Many may argue why not trade Jeremy Jeffress? But, he does have close ties to the Milwaukee Brewers and it will be interesting to see if they’re willing to split.
At this point there’s only 24 days left until the trade deadline and like we know from last year, anything is possible. While it’s difficult to make any prediction, it seems like GM David Stearns and company will make the call at the right time. Hill’s time was yesterday and maybe Smith’s may have to wait at least until the off-season.