Chicago Cubs: 5 potential trades for a bullpen arm

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Cubs could add another southpaw to their bullpen in a trade for Giants reliever Will Smith.

The Chicago Cubs could pluck one of the better left-handed relievers in the game from a rebuilding San Francisco Giants team. Will Smith (no not the Fresh Prince) was drafted in the seventh round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft by the Los Angeles Angels. He made his major league debut on May 22, 2012 with the Kansas City Royals.

He was actually brought up as a starting pitcher and went 6-9 with a 5.32 ERA in the 2012 season. It was not until 2014 that Smith converted to a reliever and it was with the Milwaukee Brewers. He was traded to the Giants in August 2016 and had Tommy John Surgey in 2017.

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Smith has been excellent out of the bullpen and has been primarily utilized as the closer lately for the Giants, collecting 14 saves last season and six so far this season. He’s appeared in 10 games this season and has struck out 10 batters in 9.2 innings allowing opposing batters to square up the barrel of the bat exactly 0.0 percent.

For a much larger sample size, Smith struck out 71 batters in 53 innings last season while walking just 15. His pitching arsensal features his primary pitch of a fastball that tops out near 93-94 mph and secondary pitches of a slider, curveball, and changeup. He does an excellent job of mixing up his pitches throwing his fastball just 37 percent of the time in 2019 (via Fangraphs).

Will Smith is a fairly established reliever, so it will likely take a little bit more to get him. His contract expires at the end of the season, so that has to be taken into consideration as well. Smith is still just 29 years old, so if he performed well post-trade, I would definitely consider re-signing him to a long-term deal.

The Giants are stacked in with pitching prospects and have the number one catching prospect in Joey Bart. However, they are a bit thin on middle infield prospects. Brandon Crawford is 32 years old now as well, so here’s my offer.

Addison Russell could use a fresh start elsewhere and he is still just 25 years old. The Giants could also use the Cubs second-round pick to keep stocking up on prospects for when they are competitive again.