San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith will be on the move soon, and these five teams should start working up trade proposals now.
There aren’t many more obvious trade candidates as July 31 approaches than San Francisco Giants closer Will Smith. The 30-year-old All-Star is a free agent at the end of the season and the Giants remain far from ready to contend. That means Smith can begin counting down the days until he is wearing a new uniform.
Smith missed the entire 2017 season recovering from surgery, but returned in top form. Over the past two years, he has saved 38 games and has a 2.36 ERA in 91.1 innings while striking out 12.3 per-nine. He has proven to be very adept at keeping the ball in the yard, allowing only six homers over the last two years. Overall, Smith has held opponents to a .167/.220/.280 line on the year, with little disparity between his dominance of left-handed and right-handed hitters.
The Giants acquired Smith from the Milwaukee Brewers at the 2016 deadline in exchange for catching prospect Andrew Susac and right-hander Phil Bickford. Neither panned out for the Brewers. With Smith taking his game to another level and on the books for only $4.2 million this year, it’s safe to say the Giants will make out much better with their own return for him.
5. Washington Nationals
Trading for bullpen help has become an annual summer ritual for the Washington Nationals. Try as he might, Mike Rizzo and his front office have never been able to build a competent bullpen in the nation’s capital. The Nats have traded for Jonathan Papelbon, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson, Brandon Kintzler and Kelvin Herrera at the deadline since 2015. Aside from Doolittle, none have amounted to much for the team.
It’s a new year, but the Nats still need bullpen help at the deadline. They have managed to rise from the depths of the NL East standings to regain a hold on a playoff spot. There had been speculation that the team would begin auctioning off some of its more valuable veterans in an effort to rebuild, but the surge has them right back into buying mode as July 31 approaches. They don’t have as many top prospects to work with on the trade market this year, but never count out Nationals ownership from finding a way to get a big deal done.