Toronto Blue Jays: Would they actually trade Justin Smoak?

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 30: Justin Smoak
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 30: Justin Smoak /

It was reported that Justin Smoak cleared waivers, but would the Toronto Blue Jays actually consider trading the first baseman?

When a team is in a position like the Toronto Blue Jays are, many players will see their names in the rumour mill and Justin Smoak appears to be the latest one.

The rumblings started after Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the first baseman cleared waivers and can be traded to any team. If the Blue Jays want to make a move involving Smoak, it would have to come before Aug. 31 so he is eligible to play in the postseason.

Considering the position the team is in, any player — minus their top prospects — should be open to being traded. We’ve heard rumours about teams calling about Marcus Stroman, so to see Smoak’s name put on revocable waivers shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The real question Blue Jays fans are probably asking themselves, is whether the team would actually trade Smoak?

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In 2017, Smoak had a breakout season by hitting a career-high 38 home runs and 90 RBI; he’s also a switch hitter and is a gold glove candidate at first base. And let’s not forget he’s signed at $4.125 million for this season and has a club option of $6 million in 2019.

Those factors make him a valuable commodity for a contending team, but also for the Blue Jays. Considering the amount of payroll the team has allocated to player’s like Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki, it helps to have a player like Smoak who can contribute with a cheap contract.

Another factor to consider is whether Smoak sees a future with the Blue Jays when it comes to signing a new contract. The 31-year-old was asked about this and made his intentions clear.

"“I would love to stay here,” Smoak told Steve Buffrey of the Toronto Sun. “(In fact), I’d like to finish my career here honestly.“I played in Texas, I played in Seattle, two really good places to play, but I feel like I’ve made a home here. We’ve (the Jays) been to the playoffs, we been to the American League championship series twice and so I know that feeling in this city (when the team’s in the playoffs) and to get back to that would be great.”"

It’s understandable why Smoak would want to stay in Toronto. When it looked like he was going to be a bust, they continued to show faith in him and it paid off.

Buffrey also mentions that the team doesn’t have a prospect ready to take Smoak’s place and with the team expected to bring up Vladimir Guerrero Jr., it would make sense to have a productive bat in the lineup.

So unless the Blue Jays get an offer for Smoak that’s too hard to pass up, it doesn’t make sense to trade him especially if they can get him to stay at a reasonable contract.

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Should the Toronto Blue Jays look to trade Smoak, or look at keeping him around long-term? Let us know in the comments below.