Blue Jays: Predicting where the veterans get traded this summer

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 26: General manager Ross Atkins of the Toronto Blue Jays speaks to the media before introducing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 before his MLB debut later tonight against the Oakland Athletics at Rogers Centre on April 26, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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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) /

Justin Smoak to the Milwaukee Brewers

Justin Smoak is one of those players that could fit into the “might not get traded” category, but don’t let that give you the wrong impression about whether or not he still brings value to the ballpark.

If the Blue Jays are going to trade Smoak this summer, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, they need to find a team that has a need for an upgrade at first base or at designated hitter, and there aren’t a lot of contenders in that category.

However, I do see there being a potential fit with the Milwaukee Brewers, who have struggled to get production from their first basemen all year long. Whether it’s been the epic struggles of Jesus Aguilar or the inconsistent play of Travis Shaw, they’re not getting what they need out of the position. Eric Thames has spent a fair bit of time there too, but he can also play the outfield.

The Brewers have a few options they could pursue if they want to upgrade their lineup. They could recall Keston Hiura, who had a fantastic debut earlier in the year, but that would require some roster shuffling. It would allow them to use Mike Moustakas at either third base or maybe first, and they could move Shaw around too.

Realistically, the Brewers don’t have to add a player from outside the organization if they want to shuffle things up a bit, but that’s also part of why I think Smoak works for them. Due to the limited demand in the first base/DH department, the Blue Jays won’t be able to ask a whole lot for their popular slugger, and that should add to his appeal to the Brewers. Include his modest salary and it works in that department as well.

What the Brewers will have to figure out is what to do with Aguilar, and maybe Shaw as well, as they’ve both struggled. They’re going to feel a roster pinch whether they bring Hiura back or add another player, but it’s becoming more clear all the time that they’re going to need to do that this season if they truly intend to compete.

I’m not saying it’s a perfect fit, but I feel it’s the best one I can find for Smoak. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished the year in Toronto though either.

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