Blue Jays: Rays, Phillies reportedly “interested” in Justin Smoak

The Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia are among the teams “interested” in Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak, per reports.

According to Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, the Tampa Bay Rays are “intrigued” by Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times noted this link as well.

Additionally, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Rays are “indeed interested” while adding that the Philadelphia Phillies are interested, as are “1 or 2 others”. In closing, Heyman says simply that Smoak will “likely move”.

Earlier Tuesday, Heyman reported that the Cleveland Indians are “among [the] teams” looking at potentially adding Smoak.

Smoak, 32, has slashed .215/.357/.427 in 86 games this season, smashing 18 home runs and driving in 46 in 293 at-bats, walking 60 times and adding eight doubles.

An American League All-Star in 2017, the native of Goose Creek, South Carolina owns a career OPS of .747 and is currently tied for 42nd among active players in home runs (187), 66th in RBI, and 92nd in runs scored.

Speculatively speaking, Steve Phillips of TSN and MLB Network posits that the Washington Nationals could also be a solid landing spot for Smoak.

Previously, Smoak appeared in games for the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners before joining the Blue Jays organization in October 2014. He is currently 10th on the team in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 0.8.

Recently, Smoak was listed as the 18th best trade candidate at the 2019 deadline by MLB Trade Rumors. On MLBTR’s earlier list, he was listed at No. 15.

Next: Blue Jays trade reliever David Phelps to the Chicago Cubs

Aside from the above teams, no other clubs have shown reported interest in Smoak, though it’s certainly possible that things pick up over the next 24 hours before the trade deadline. More to come.

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