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Brewers designate Justin Smoak for assignment and acquire Daniel Vogelbach, per report

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David Stearns wants to prove that first base could indeed be worse than it’s been in 2020

Pittsburgh Pirates v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers have designated first baseman Justin Smoak for assignment and acquired lefty first baseman Daniel Vogelbach, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

The Brewers acquired Smoak this offseason, signing him to a one-year $5 million deal, with a 2021 team option for $5.5 million and a $1 million buyout. In his 33 games with Milwaukee, Smoak hasn’t lived up to what I imagine were low expectations. He slashed just .186/.262/.381 and hit five homers in the blue and gold.

If another team claims Smoak, they will take on the contract the Brewers signed him this offseason. The team could also outright him to the alternate training site, where the Brewers remain on the hook for that salary. Milwaukee could also cut him, in which case he will get his $1 million buyout. If he opts for free agency, Milwaukee will not need to cover that option.

Daniel Vogelbach was DFA'd by the Blue Jays and is somehow even worse. While he’s just 27 years old, the lefty masher has played just 20 games for the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays this season, slashing .088/.246/.211 in 69 plate appearances. Last season was his best of his short career and the only season he’s exceeded 102 plate appearances. With Seattle, he mashed 30 homers while slashing .209/.341/.439.

Some have suggested that Vogelbach will platoon with Jedd Gyorko, who has played a ton of first base lately. If that were the case, Vogelbach’s career platoon numbers are .212/.342/.434 against righties and .142/.269/.271 against lefties.

Out of morbid curiosity, I looked up how 33-year-old Eric Thames is performing with Washington this year. He’s hitting just .205/.298/.325, so at least we can’t blame his departure on all of the Brewers’ first base problems.

Statistics courtesy Baseball-Refrence