1:35PM: The Giants have announced the signing, noting that Smoak signed a minor league deal and has been added to the 60-man player pool.
Smoak came to Milwaukee on a one-year contract worth $5MM in guaranteed money ($4MM in salary, and $1MM on a buyout of a $5.5MM club option for 2021). Over 126 plate appearances this season, Smoak simply never got on track, hitting .186/.262/.381 with five home runs and eventually becoming an expendable piece. The Brewers will eat the remainder of the salary owed to Smoak this season, minus the prorated minimum salary that will be paid by the Giants for however much time Smoak sees in the big leagues over the final two-plus weeks.
The 22-21 Giants are currently in possession of a wild card berth, in part due to major contributions from such unheralded acquisitions as Mike Yastrzemski, Donovan Solano, and Alex Dickerson. 2020 numbers aside, Smoak has more of a proven track record, and was an All-Star as recently as the 2017 season. His numbers have been on the decline since that breakout year, though his pedestrian 2019 statistics were underlined by some very impressive Statcast numbers that have generally not carried over to this season.
A change of scenery could perhaps be what Smoak needs to spark his bat, and on paper, a revived Smoak would help the Giants replace the production they expected from Hunter Pence — another veteran who had a tough 2020 season and was recently released. Smoak could occasionally spell Brandon Belt at first base and also see some time at DH. Since Mauricio Dubon has now essentially become San Francisco’s full-time center fielder, it creates a bit more room for Smoak to join Pablo Sandoval as the team’s primary backup infielders, with Belt, Solano, Brandon Crawford, and Evan Longoria starting around the diamond and Wilmer Flores also seeing a good chunk of time at first base, second base, and DH.