According to a Joel Sherman report in the New York Post, Justin Smoak has cleared trade waivers.
This hasn’t been the best year for first basemen in the American League. The 31-year-old Smoak currently leads all qualified AL 1B a 126 wRC+ and is hitting .257/.363/.465 in 2018. Last year, that 126 mark wouldn’t have even ranked him in the top five at his position.
I wouldn’t imagine a better time to trade him, because as Sherman notes, the banged up Yankees are in need of more offence and would love to upgrade their 1B spot that has boasted the likes of uh, Greg Bird, Neil Walker, and Tyler Austin this season. Judging by how bad the position has been this year across the whole league and Smoak’s 2019 $6 Million Dollar option, the Blue Jays will be looking to get something decent for him in a trade.
This is all just Sherman thinking out loud, and not reporting that the Yankees are in on him, by the way. It’s just something that would make sense.
The Blue Jays front office took heat from fans when they signed Smoak to that two-year, $8.5 million deal in 2016, but it’s turned out to be an incredible value play for them. As we know, he hit 38 home runs last season, and even though he ran out of gas in September, still hit .270/.355/.529 across his 158 games. By following it up with a strong 2018 campaign, the Blue Jays have a valuable asset to trade, even if fans might not want to stomach him potentially being a major factor on a Yankees playoff team.