Blue Jays: Justin Smoak and the six degrees of separation

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 27: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates their victory with Justin Smoak #14 during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 27, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 27: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates their victory with Justin Smoak #14 during MLB game action against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 27, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak is an interesting footnote sandwiched between Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and his Hall of Fame father.

Justin Smoak began his career as a member of the Texas Rangers after being selected in the first round of the 2008 amateur draft. In 2010, Smoak was a fresh-faced 23-year old when he made his MLB debut on April 23rd. The designated hitter on that Rangers team was none other than 35-year old veteran Vladimir Guerrero Sr.

On April 27th, Smoak would notch his first career run batted in by hitting a sacrifice fly that would score Vladdy Sr. Less than three months later, the Rangers would ship Smoak and three other players to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Cliff Lee and Mark Lowe. Smoak and Lowe would eventually be teammates with the Blue Jays for the 2015 playoff run.

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Fast forward to 2019 and on April 26th Vladimir Guerrero Jr. makes his long-awaited MLB debut. The baseball world is enamored with the prospect and expectations have never been higher for a Blue Jays rookie.

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On May 04th, Guerrero hits a single that scores none other than Justin Smoak for his for the first run batted in of his career. Baseball has a special way of bringing things full circle, a pretty cool stat for Smoak and the Guerrero’s.

To take it even one step further, there is a very good likelihood that in three months or less Smoak will once again be traded just like in 2010. The first baseman will become a free agent at season’s end and the Jays will look to cash in on Smoak before he walks in free agency this offseason.

Smoak played 70 games with Vladdy Sr. as a member of the Rangers and will presumably be in that neighborhood with Vladdy Jr. when all is said and done.

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Regardless of what transpires, Smoak will be a trivia question for years to come as the six degrees of separation between Vladdy Jr. and his father.

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