Just before the announcement of the trade involving Jeremy Jeffress and Jonathan Lucroy, the Brewers made their first deal of the day. Will Smith, a veteran of five years, including three with Milwaukee, was traded to the San Fransisco Giants in exchange for two prospects. The trade was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
The Brewers acquired Smith via trading Nori Aoki to the Royals in 2013. He only has the rest of this season of guaranteed team control, before he enters arbitration years each of the next three years.
Smith holds a career 17-18 record with a 3.94 ERA, but there’s no question that some of his best play was done with the Brew Crew. Over 181 games as a Brewer, Smith posted a 3.28 ERA with 199 strikeouts in 151 innings. This included career best marks in both ERA and strikeouts in 2015, where he posted an ERA of 2.70 and 91 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. Prior to this season, Smith tore a knee ligament tying his cleats, leaving him to start the year on the DL. Since his return, he has a 3.68 ERA while striking out 22 batters in 22 innings.
The two prospects the Brewers receive in the trade are catcher Andrew Susac and pitcher Phil Bickford. Susac, at 26 years of age, is the oldest player confirmed to the Brewers so far. He was selected in the 2009 draft, before being selected again in the second round by San Francisco in 2011. He also has Major League experience, playing for the Giants in 35 games in 2014 and 52 in 2015. At Triple-A Sacramento this season, Susac has hit .273 with 8 home runs and 36 RBIs in 58 games. Susac also brings solid fielding, with a .995 fielding percentage in 50 games at catcher for Sacramento.
Bickford, a 21 year old right-hander, was also selected in the draft twice. He was first selected 18th overall out of high school in 2013, but decided to attend college in Nevada, then was drafted in 2015 10th overall. He has posted solid numbers at every level thus far, including 32 strikeouts in 22.1 innings at rookie ball last season. This year, between Low-A and Advanced-A, he has a 5-6 record with a 2.71 ERA and a 105/27 strikout/walk ratio in 93 innings.