Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports tweeted what many San Francisco Giants fans have been waiting for, the Giants have traded for one of the market’s top relievers: Will Smith.
The price was steep, as Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reported that the Giants top pitching prospect Phil Bickford, as well as Sacramento native Andrew Susac, are headed to Wisconsin.
The Giants bullpen was the biggest focus before the deadline for general manager Bobby Evans. After acquiring speedy utility man Eduardo Nunez from the Minnesota Twins last week, the Giants will get a solid arm in their bullpen. Last week, Smith was on our list of relievers who could potentially save the Giants bullpen.
Smith, 27, has a 3.68 ERA in just 22 innings in his fifth big league season. As a left-handed pitcher, he’ll fill a void the Giants bullpen has had since Jeremy Affeldt retired last season. His numbers aren’t as impressive as the Giants expect, but most of that is due to a knee injury he suffered earlier this year and pitching in the hitter-friendly Miller Park.
However, Smith’s numbers last year were impressive: 7-2 record, 2.70 ERA, 63.1 innings, 91 strikeouts and only 24 walks. The year before that, he tied for the NL lead in appearances with 78. The Giants are also trading for his long-term contract control – he is arbitration eligible until the year 2020.
With Javier Lopez handling the lefty-lefty matchups, Smith will most likely be used against right-handed batters – they are hitting just .143 against him this year.
Susac, who played for the Giants in 87 games over the last two seasons backing up Buster Posey, won a World Series ring in 2014. He will go from being blocked by Posey for the next five years to joining a brewers team with a potentially gaping hole at the catcher position if Jonathan Lucroy is traded.
Bickford on the other hand, was the No. 18 draft pick by the Giants in the 2015 draft and will join other top pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia in being traded in the last week. He was pitching in San Jose with a 2-2 record, 2.70 ERA and a 3.0 K/BB ratio in just six starts after being promoted from low-A ball in Augusta.