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Brewers sign Justin Smoak

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays

TORONTO, ONTARIO - SEPTEMBER 29: Justin Smoak #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a two-run double against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at the Rogers Centre on September 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers have signed first baseman Justin Smoak. The deal is for one year and $5 million.

Smoak, 33, has hit 85 home runs with a .350 OBP over his past three seasons in Toronto, including a career-high 38 homers in 2017. That said, hit just .208/.342/.406 (OPS+ 101) last season despite a league-average strikeout rate that was quite a bit better than his career mark. It was a subpar year for him in production, but there’s good reason to believe that his low BABIP -- only .223 compared to a career BABIP of .266 -- was flukey and that he stands a good chance to bounce back to the level of performance he showed in 2017-18, when hit a combined .256/.353/.495 (OPS+ 127).

For Milwaukee, this fills the hole at first base created by the club’s decision to not pick up Eric Thames’ option. If they had picked up Thames’ option, it would’ve cost the Brewers $7.5 million.

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