It appeared to be one of the most slam dunk, obvious decisions of the off-season, but Jon Heyman is suggesting that the Blue Jays aren’t a certainty to pick up Justin Smoak’s $8 million option this winter.
— The Jays aren’t a certainty to pick up Justin Smoak’s $7 million option.
That’s all there was to this note. There’s no detail, or anything, but Heyman apparently heard something that would indicate the Jays might not pick up Smoak’s option.
Remember, this is Jon Heyman. He isn’t always right about things like this. For example, in the past, he said that the Blue Jays had interest in acquiring Rougned Odor. That, uh, obviously didn’t happen. He was also the one putting rumours out there that Josh Donaldson declined a very reasonable extension offer from the Blue Jays prior to the season.
It would be shocking if the Jays decided to cut Smoak loose over $8 million. I mean, this is the front office that believed in him when nobody else did and handed him the two-year extension with the third-year option based on plate appearances in the first place. He rewarded them by having a breakout All-Star season in 2017 and another solid season in 2018.
Smoak slashed a .242/.350/.457 a smacked 25 bombs last season. His solid work at first base also earned him a gold glove nomination earlier today. His 1.7 wins above replacement made him the third most valuable position player on the team behind Kevin Pillar and Randal Grichuk.
So, yeah. This doesn’t make sense. There are ways for the front office to trim fat and save money, but letting go of Smoak wouldn’t be one of them. If they did, say, want to open up first base for Rowdy Tellez or Vlad Jr. or something then they would certainly be able to just pick up Smoak’s option and then pull the trigger on a trade.
I mean, nothing is a certainty. But you can say that for anything. It’s very likely the sun rise tomorrow, but it also isn’t a certainty that the sun rises tomorrow. Which way are you going to describe it? I imagine Heyman heard the Jays were likely to pick up Smoak’s option and he turned it around in the more click-baity way so that idiots like me bite on it and feed more clicks back to his site and the content wheel spins.