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Will Smith to Giants: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2016

Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Will Smith throws in the eighth inning in the first game of a baseball doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Cincinnati. The Brewers won 8-6. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers parted ways with one of their top bullpen arms Monday, as they traded Will Smith to the San Francisco Giants for Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac

The Giants announced the trade after Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported the deal.

Since spending the first two months of the season on the disabled list with a knee injury, Smith has been steady in relief, posting a 3.68 ERA, 22 strikeouts and a 1.23 WHIP in 22 innings pitched.

The 27-year-old lefty has spent parts of three seasons with the Brew Crew after two years as a member of the Kansas City Royals, and he has developed into a dominant force out of the pen.

Smith came into his own last season when he posted a 2.70 ERA and struck out a career-high 91 batters in 63.1 innings. He was also a workhorse in 2014, appearing in a National League-high 78 games.

While the Georgia native boasts an electric arm, he became an obvious trade candidate for the Brewers since they are building for the future. With Smith set to receive a raise in arbitration during the offseason, getting something in return for him and saving money was a logical maneuver for a Milwaukee team that is loading up for the future.

As the Royals have proved in each of the past two seasons, having a strong bullpen is a big key to making a deep run in the playoffs and winning a World Series championship.

Kansas City used the triumvirate of Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland to do precisely that, and the Giants took a page out of that book by bolstering their pen with the addition of Smith.

Smith may not be a make-or-break player in terms of winning a championship by himself, but when added to an already strong team overall, he provides an element that could be valuable near the back end of the bullpen.

San Francisco hasn't gotten much production out of its lefty relievers so far this season, as Javier Lopez is struggling with a 3.93 ERA over 18.1 innings. Smith stands to fill the role of the No. 1 left-hander out of the Giants bullpen down the stretch.

Perhaps the one downside with Smith is that he doesn't have much experience in high-pressure situations since he has never appeared in the playoffs. However, if he continues to perform like he has thus far in 2016, he may be one of the best under-the-radar additions in Major League Baseball prior to the deadline.

       

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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