Blue Jays: Why trading Justin Smoak may be harder than it should be

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches as he hits a game-winning solo home run in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on September 20, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 20: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays watches as he hits a game-winning solo home run in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on September 20, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MAY 22: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs hit a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on May 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – MAY 22: Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs hit a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field on May 22, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

National League

Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies, New York Mets, and (maybe) the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals.

There’s a similar problem going on when it comes to the first base position among NL contenders. The Cubs have Anthony Rizzo, the Dodgers use Max Muncy and David Freese, the Phillies have Rhys Hoskins, the Braves have Freddie Freeman, the Padres have Eric Hosmer, the Cardinals have Paul Goldschmidt, the Rockies have Daniel Murphy, the Mets have Pete Alonso, the Pirates have Josh Bell, and the Nationals Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Adams.

I left the Brewers off the list because I see them as the best possible fit from either league. They currently have Eric Thames (.244/.372/.429) and Jesus Aguilar (.193/.301/.307) as their tandem there, and neither has been terribly inspiring in 2019. That said, there is plenty of time for that to change for July 31st, both with the Brewers standing in the playoff race and with the production of their current duo. Aguilar also hit 35 home runs and had 108 RBI last year, so he’s bound to turn it around at some point.

Beyond the Brewers, the Nationals could work but they’re already 6.0 games out of the 2nd Wild Card spot, and look like a seller more than a buyer. Otherwise, are there any teams that need Smoak? Or maybe a better question, are there any teams that would pay much of anything for an incremental upgrade at first base? I think the answer is ‘no’ unless, of course, an injury takes place before the deadline.

Possible fits: Brewers, Nationals

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