Back in 2016, there may not have been a move by the Blue Jays front office more heavily scrutinized than the contract extension of Justin Smoak. At the time, Smoak was a bench player, but seemingly out of nowhere, the club re-upped Smoak with a two-year/$8.25 million contract extension with an option for a third year.
Fans and analysts were dumbfounded by the deal, myself included. Why the hurry to re-sign a career -0.9 WAR player at the time? It felt like a completely unnecessary move; a transaction that barely moved the needle for a team trying to make its second consecutive playoff appearance.
In retrospect, one wonders where the Blue Jays would be the last few years if not for Smoak. Not that he was the difference maker for a 76-win club in 2017, a 73-win club in 2018 or this 26-win club in 2019, but Smoak has given the team more than enough value for the $21.3 million he’s earned in a Blue Jays uniform.
With the final year of his current contract coming to an end at the conclusion of the regular season, the Blue Jays are at a crossroads with their starting first baseman. A man who has been a …
Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation