The Brewers have reached a one-year deal with first baseman Justin Smoak, according to multiple reports Thursday morning. The former Blue Jay will receive $4 million for the 2020 season with a club option worth $5.5 million. The option comes with a $1 million buyout, guaranteeing Smoak will at least $5 million from his new deal.
Milwaukee opened the 2019 season with an infield of Jesús Aguilar, Mike Moustakas, Travis Shaw, and Orlando Arcia. Of that quartet, three are no longer in the organization. The fourth, Arcia, now seems ticketed for a utility role after failing, for the second straight season, to show any progress from his 2017 campaign. Milwaukee’s new middle infield of Keston Hiura (called up midseason) and Luis Urías (acquired from the Padres) are expected to anchor the key defensive positions for a decade, but the Brewers do not have equivalent talent ready to take over at first or third. Brice Turang and possibly Lucas Erceg may shake up the infield in coming seasons, but neither will help in 2020.