Milwaukee Brewers: Why A Will Smith Trade Needs To Happen
By David Gasper
We’re coming up on the July Trade Deadline and the Milwaukee Brewers are going to make some additions. Getting reliever Will Smith needs to be one of them.
The Milwaukee Brewers once had Will Smith. From 2014 to the middle of 2016 he was a key piece in their bullpen and turned himself into a fan favorite with not only his success on the field, but his personality as well. Him and Jeremy Jeffress made for quite the dynamic duo as pitchers and as best friends.
Then at the 2016 Trade Deadline, with the Brewers rebuilding, Jeffress was shipped off to Texas and Smith was sent to the Giants. Jeffress was since brought back, but Smith is still in San Francisco. He’s still a dominant bullpen piece, and with free agency looming this winter and Smith being on a bad team, he’s the most likely trade piece in baseball this summer.
The Brewers need to get Will Smith back in their bullpen in 2019.
Why Do The Brewers Need Will Smith?
Have you seen their pitching?
That bullpen could use another dominant arm heading into the stretch run and the postseason. Losing Corey Knebel to Tommy John surgery at the beginning of the year was a huge blow to their depth and their top level talent. Instead of having three dominant relievers shutting things down at the back end of the bullpen, the Brewers are left with two. That’s not bad, but it’s not making the bullpen a huge strength like it was last year either.
Smith this season has a 1.95 ERA in 33 appearances. He has 21 saves, a 0.74 WHIP, a 1.9 BB/9 ratio, and a 13.6 K/9 ratio. Those numbers are better than his best year in Milwaukee.
Add him with Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress at the back end of that bullpen, and it’s a group to be feared once again. Not to mention, we get to see the reunion of best friends with Jeffress and Smith.
What Will It Cost To Get Smith?
It’ll cost less to get Smith now than what the Giants gave up to get him a few years ago. With Smith heading into free agency in the winter, the acquiring team is only guaranteed two months plus playoffs of Smith. Nowadays, front offices are paying big for long-term control, not rentals.
However, Smith will be in high demand as a late inning, left handed reliever that’s been dominant all year. Pretty much every contender will be calling about him, which will drive up the price a little bit.
Still, this is not approaching “Keston Hiura or Bust” level prospect returns. When the Brewers traded Smith in 2016, they got Phil Bickford, who at the time was the Giants top prospect, and and Andrew Susac. Neither really panned out, but that was a good return at the time.
What the Giants need are outfielders, and the Brewers have plenty to spare in the minors. Some options close to the big leagues are Corey Ray, Troy Stokes, and Tyrone Taylor. Any one of them could be included in a trade, though Ray will hold the most value among them, despite hitting just .178 this year and currently being on the Injured List.
Perhaps throwing in another low-mid level arm will get the deal done, depending on which outfielder is included.
But with how dominant Smith has been, the Brewers clear need for another dominant bullpen arm, and Smith’s familiarity with Milwaukee already, getting him back to Miller Park should be high on the priority list this July.
The Milwaukee Brewers can get back a fan favorite this July and make their team better. It’s a win-win situation if they’re able to pull it off.