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Brewers, Justin Smoak close to deal, per report

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The Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly close to signing free agent first baseman Justin Smoak

RANGERS-SMOAK Photo by Sharon M. Steinman/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

MLB Rumors: Justin Smoak and the Milwaukee Brewers are close to a deal, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter.

Smoak, 33, is a switch-hitting first baseman who was the Texas Rangers’ first round pick in 2008, and who went to the Seattle Mariners in July, 2010, in the Cliff Lee deal. Smoak hovered around replacement level until having back-to-back quality years for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2017, when he was named to the American League All Star team, and 2018.

Smoak regressed in 2019, putting up a .208/.342/.406 slash line in 500 plate appearances while sporting a 0.6 bWAR, but Milwaukee is gambling he still has something left in the tank.

From a Rangers perspective, this is noteworthy primarily because the Rangers’ first base situation is still unresolved, and Smoak could have been an option for Texas if they devoted most of their remaining 2020 budget to other positions, or if their preferred first base choices go elsewhere.

UPDATE — The deal is being reported as 1 year, $5 million.