SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants spent all of July facing the high prices in the relief market. On the first day of August they finally pulled the trigger, acquiring left-handed reliever Will Smith for top prospect Phil Bickford and catcher Andrew Susac, sources confirmed to CSN Bay Area.
Smith, 27, provides the left-handed weapon the bullpen desperately needs with Josh Osich on the DL and Javier Lopez battling inconsistency. He has a 3.68 ERA and 1.23 WHIP for the Brewers this season, but is coming off three straight stronger years. He had a 2.70 ERA in 76 appearances for the Brewers last year.
General manager Bobby Evans has said all week that the prices ahead of the deadline were ominous, and he paid heavily to acquire a difference-maker in a bullpen that has been a weak spot for most of the year.
Bickford, a hard-throwing right-handed starter, was the team’s first-round pick in 2015 and pitched in the Futures Game this year. He has a 2.71 ERA across two levels this season, but some scouts aren’t sold on his ability to remain a starter, noting that he might be a future closer instead.
Susac once looked like the backup catcher of the future, but injuries derailed his career and he has been unable to make it back to the big leagues this season because of the emergence of Trevor Brown. Susac, 26, should finally get a shot in Milwaukee, where the Brewers are trying to trade incumbent Jonathan Lucroy.