MLB Trade Rumors

MLB rumors: Giants, Brewers 'engaged' in Will Smith trade before deadline


MLB rumors: Giants, Brewers 'engaged' in Will Smith trade before deadline

Nearly three years ago, the Giants acquired reliever Will Smith from the Brewers for prospects Phil Bickford and Andrew Susac. Fast forward to the present, and these two teams reportedly could make a trade centered around Smith yet again.

The Giants and Brewers are "engaged" in trade talks regarding Smith, The Athletic's Robert Murray reported Monday morning. Sources told Murray that both teams are scouting each other, with a Giants representative in Cincinnati for the Brewers’ most recent road trip.

Milwaukee had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season, carrying the Brewers all the way to the NLCS. That hasn't been the case this year, though.

The Brewers' bullpen currently has a 4.61 ERA, which is 18th in the majors. Last year, they ended the regular season with the fifth-best bullpen ERA at 3.47. 

Smith has been one of the best relievers in the game in 2019, with a 2.17 ERA and 23 saves to his name. He could be exactly what the Brewers need as they sit 2.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. 

Sources told Murray that the Giants have "identified" prospect Mauricio Dubon as a player of interest. Dubon, 24, was born in Honduras but went to high school in Sacramento at Capital Christian High School. He's ranked as the Brewers' No. 5 prospect and has hit .305 with 14 home runs in Triple-A this season. 

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Dubon is a shortstop who has also played plenty of second base in the minors. He made his big league debut this season and could be able to the Giants contribute right away. 

The July 31 trade deadline is slightly over two weeks away, and Smith is sure to garner plenty of interest from a variety of teams. 

Giants should target Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson in Will Smith trade

Giants should target Cardinals prospect Dylan Carlson in Will Smith trade

The Giants added a former local prep star full of power when they selected Hunter Bishop out of Arizona State with the No. 10 pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. They could use the same philosophy at the July 31 MLB trade deadline. 

As the Cardinals reportedly have long been interested in a trade for Giants closer Will Smith, the Giants should be just as interested in a Cardinals outfield prospect. Sacramento native Dylan Carlson, who was the No. 33 overall pick out of Elk Grove High School in the 2016 MLB Draft, is the exact kind of player the team needs. 

Carlson, 20, is a 6-foot-2 switch-hitting outfielder, who has crushed the ball this season for the Cardinals' Double-A affiliate. Through 81 games for the Springfield Cardinals, Carlson is hitting .294 with 14 home runs and a .902 OPS. He's stolen 13 bases, too. 

Though many outlets project Carlson as a right fielder in the major leagues, he has the ability to play all three positions in the outfield. This season, he's played 62 games in center field, nine in right and five in left. He also has showcased a strong arm with 32 career outfield assists in the minors.

While every member of the Giants outside of Smith was on vacation during the All-Star break, Carlson joined Giants prospects Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos on the NL squad at the Futures Game. He started in right field and went 1-for-2 with an RBI single. And he's been on fire since showcasing his talents against the best prospects in baseball. 

In three games since the Futures Game, Carlson has gone 8-for-15 and hammered a solo shot to right field Thursday night. 

Carlson is an interesting case to look at with him being a switch-hitter, too. He has way more at-bats left-handed this year than from the right side -- 253 to only 60 -- and has had some more success as a lefty. From the left side, he's hitting .300 with 10 homers and a .917 OPS compared to .267 with four long balls and an .838 OPS right-handed. But many evaluators believe his right-handed swing is more consistent.

Here's a look at Carlson's spray chart for his entire career in the minors, via Baseball Savant. It's clear he has power to all field as a switch-hitter. 

The Giants need right-handed power hitters with how Oracle Park plays, but Carlson being a switch-hitter shouldn't scare off the front office. His left-handed power could be just as valuable if the team does indeed move in the fences to cut off Triples Alley in right-center field. 

[RELATED: Five bold predictions for Giants in second half of season]

Now, would the Cardinals trade their No. 2 prospect who looks to be on the fast track to the big leagues? Trying to acquire him surely will be a tough game of tug of war for the Giants front office, and it could certainly cost more than a few months of Smith. If that is the case, the young outfielder is worth it. 

The Giants need to get younger, more powerful and more athletic at the trade deadline. Carlson checks all the boxes. 

MLB rumors: Giants, Cardinals talking Will Smith trade before deadline


MLB rumors: Giants, Cardinals talking Will Smith trade before deadline

Giants reliever Will Smith could be the hottest name on the market before the July 31 MLB trade deadline, and one team reportedly has had their eyes on the left-hander. 

San Francisco and St. Louis were "engaged in serious discussions" during the offseason regarding a Smith trade, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Thursday. The Cardinals will again pursue the reliever before the deadline, according to Morosi, if they remain in contention. 

At the All-Star break, the Cardinals are 44-44, good for third in NL Central, but only two games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs. They're also two games behind the Phillies for the second NL Wild Card spot. 

Smith seems like a perfect fit for the Cardinals, too. St. Louis lost closer Jordan Hicks when he tore his right UCL late last month, and Smith is a perfect 23-for-23 in save opportunities for the Giants this season. While starter-turned-reliever Carlos Martinez has three saves and a 1.38 ERA since becoming the Cardinals' closer, they badly still need a lefty. 

The Cardinals signed Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million contract this past offseason. At the time, it seemed like a steal. That hasn't been the case, however, as Miller is just 3-3 with a 3.81 ERA over 39 appearances this season. 

[RELATED: Dodgers interested in Smith, if Giants will do deal]

Smith, on the other hand, is 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA. Left-handed hitters are batting a lowly .176 against him with a .265 slugging percentage. 

The Cardinals have plenty of intriguing young outfielders who could fit the Giants, and Smith clearly fits a glaring hole on the Red Birds' roster. This is a pairing to watch in the coming weeks.