MLB rumors: Giants, Dodgers not ruling out Will Smith trade before deadline

Dalton Johnson

MLB rumors: Giants, Dodgers not ruling out Will Smith trade before deadline originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

Plenty of the same names remain, but this isn't the same old -- no pun intended -- Giants.

The product looks similar to previous seasons, however everything is different with president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi at the helm. That could become even more clear at the July 31 MLB trade deadline, when the Giants are expected to see significant roster turnover.

Zaidi even could be on the phones with his former employer, which just happens to be the Giants' biggest rival.

MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Tuesday morning that the Giants and Dodgers haven't ruled out a trade that would send San Francisco closer Will Smith to Los Angeles.

Smith, who turns 30 in July, could be one of the top targets on the trade market. The left-hander is a perfect 20-for-20 in save opportunities this season, owns a 2.01 ERA over 32 appearances out of the bullpen, and has 47 strikeouts to seven walks in 31.1 innings pitched.

"Right now, we'll play hard for the orange and black, and whatever happens, happens," Smith said less than two weeks ago when asked about trade rumors. "We'll cross that bridge when we get there."

The closer we get to the trade deadline, the louder the rumors will become. Just last week, MLB Trade Rumors released its list of the top 50 trade candidates. The top two names both were Giants pitchers, but it was Smith, not ace Madison Bumgarnerwho topped the list.

Smith is on a cheap one-year, $4.23 million contract. He's been one of the best relievers in baseball this season and could be exactly what a contender needs for a playoff run. 

As far as the Dodgers go, Zaidi is plenty familiar with the state of that franchise, since he served as general manager from 2014 through 2018. He knows the team's farm system, which MLB.com ranked seventh entering the season, inside and out, and should be able to target the type of players the Giants need to bolster their minor league system.

[RELATED: Marco Luciano receives rave reviews from Farhan Zaidi]

"If we do end up in a position where we're selling and looking to get some future talent, you actually want to be trading in the division because you want to weaken your rivals in future years, and you want them to push more chips into the present," Zaidi said on KNBR at the beginning of the month when asked about a possible trade with the Dodgers. "In a way, it actually benefits you more."

The Giants and Dodgers last traded with each other in 2007. With Zaidi running the show, though, anything is possible -- even if that means helping his rivals now for a better future in San Francisco.