If you figured Rowdy Tellez’s injury opened the door for Justin Smoak’s return to the Blue Jays, I have some bad news for you.
The veteran first baseman has inked a deal with the San Francisco Giants that will last for the rest of the 2020 season.
Sources: #SFGiants to sign Justin Smoak
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 9, 2020
I talked about the possibility of signing Smoak last week when the Milwaukee Brewers designated him for assignment in order to make room on their roster for Daniel Vogelbach. Given his declined production and the abundance of 1B/DH types already on the roster, I figured that it wouldn’t make sense for Smoak to return to Toronto.
With Rowdy Tellez getting injured, though, a reunion started to make a little bit more sense. Smoak would give the Blue Jays a big, lefty bat with power and an elite glove at first, the latter being especially important given Vlad’s struggles with the defensive aspect of the game.
But still, this is thinking more with the heart than the head. The Jays can easily just slide Travis Shaw over to first, replace him at third with Santiago Espinal or Joe Panik, and use Vlad mostly as a DH. Another option is Billy McKinney, who also has a perfectly fine glove at first.
As great as Smoak was as a member of the Blue Jays, the ship has sailed. Bringing him back for a couple of weeks to add a good glove at first wouldn’t be worth the hassle of finding someone to remove from the 40-man roster at this point.