Justin Smoak has reportedly been discussed as a possible trade target for the Colorado Rockies, but would the Toronto Blue Jays let him leave?
It’s fair to say its been an interesting week for the Toronto Blue Jays. They released Troy Tulowitzki — despite owing him $38 million guaranteed — while speculation has been growing regarding the respective futures of Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez in Southern Ontario.
It’s clear the Blue Jays are now entering rebuild mode. As such, you can expect more rumors involving the team in the coming months.
Along those lines, some interesting news emerged on Thursday, this time involving Justin Smoak. As reported by Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, the Colorado Rockies have apparently discussed Smoak as a possible trade target.
Of course, a lot of people will point to “possible” as the key word in the report. Teams regularly have internal discussion about certain players, but they often come to nothing.
Regardless, you can certainly understand why the Rockies would be interested in Smoak. It is entirely conceivable that he would thrive in the high altitude and hitter-friendly environment at Coors Field.
The 32-year-old didn’t perform quite as well in 2018 compared to the previous year, when he earned his first ever trip to the All-Star Game. However, he still produced on a struggling Blue Jays team, leading them in several categories.
In fact, Smoak had the second-best offensive season of his nine-year career. This was reflected in his home runs (25), RBIs (77), batting average (.242), OBP (.350) and OPS (.808), which were all only bested by his return in 2017.
There is every reason to see all of Smoak’s 2018 numbers improve next year, particularly if he is playing regularly in Colorado. His defence would also be an upgrade for the Rockies who, as per Connor Byrne and Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors, received National League-worst production at first base this past season.
As a final factor, the 2008 11th overall draft pick’s contract is another reason the Rockies would be genuinely interested in trading for him. He is due $8 million in 2019, which is extremely affordable. (He will become an unrestricted free agent after next year.)
The question is — assuming the Rockies make an actual move — how willing would the Blue Jays be, to let the 2008 11th overall draft pick leave? When combining his age with the team’s focus on rebuilding, it would seem there is an excellent chance of him leaving, pending what is offered in return.
Do you think the Toronto Blue Jays will trade Smoak, whether it be to Colorado or elsewhere? Do you WANT the team to move him? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.