We’re just over two weeks away from the MLB Trade Deadline and the latest Milwaukee Brewers rumors have them on the prowl for relief help.
In perhaps the most unsurprising rumor of the season. The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly interested in San Francisco Giants lefty Will Smith and have began talks and are scouting each other’s system according to Robert Murray of The Athletic.
The Brewers are in clear need of some bullpen help and Smith has been one of the best closers in baseball this season. Adding Smith would give the Crew the three headed monster they’ve been searching for in their bullpen since Corey Knebel underwent Tommy John surgery in spring training.
So why not bring in Smith, who is already familiar with the organization after having pitched here from 2014-2016? He’s best friends with Jeremy Jeffress and was a fan favorite when he left here.
Will Smith This Season
Smith has a 2.17 ERA this season with 23 saves for the Giants. He was an All-Star this year and is having the best season of his career in terms of ERA, WHIP, H/9, BB/9, and K/9.
We thought he was great when he was with the Brewers the first time around, but he’s been even better with the Giants.
Smith is in the final year of team control and will be a free agent at the end of the season. As a rental, his cost is inherently lower, but with a bunch of teams looking for relief help and Smith being arguably the best available arm on the market, that’ll drive up the price.
But based on his season, and his familiarity with Milwaukee, it’s a pairing that makes a ton of sense for both sides.
What Could Smith Cost?
Probably at least one Top 10 prospect from our Top 30 list, although Keston Hiura is off limits. Corey Ray could make sense and so could Mauricio Dubon. The Giants are in need of outfielders and Brandon Crawford is not getting any younger at shortstop. But Crawford is under contract through a few more seasons.
Ray and a mid-level pitching prospect such as Marcos Diplan could work as a return package.
When the Brewers traded Will Smith to the Giants in 2016, they received Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac. Susac was the backup to Buster Posey and thought to be capable of being a starter, just not ahead of Posey, while Bickford was the Giants top prospect in an albeit weak farm system. Susac couldn’t hit and is out of the organization while Bickford ran into some drug troubles and is in Arizona still trying to regain his velocity. His prospect status is shot.
That first trade failed big time for the Brewers and worked out very well for the Giants. Perhaps this time, that can be turned around.
Former Brewers pro scouting director Zack Minasian is now working in the Giants front office. He has a deep knowledge of the Brewers farm system and that should help move along trade talks. We’re coming up on the deadline and Will Smith appears to be at the top of the Brewers wish list for their bullpen. It makes perfect sense.
If the Brewers are able to land Smith, the next piece to the puzzle should be either the rotation or another bullpen arm.