Smoak signed a contract with the NPB's Yomiuri Giants on Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. Smoak fits the profile common to many players who head overseas as a competent slugger but not necessarily one who hits well enough to justify a spot at the highest level given his defensive limitations. Coming off a disappointing short season in which he hit just .176/.250/.361 in 36 games for the Brewers and Giants, he'll try to re-establish his value in Japan, but at age 34, it's quite likely his MLB days are over.
The Giants released Smoak on Wednesday. Though Smoak wasn't picked up by another team after the Giants exposed him to waivers earlier in the week, the organization didn't have interest in keeping around in its 60-man roster pool with the regular season nearing its end. Smoak will wrap up a disappointing 2020 campaign with a .176/.250/.361 slash line across 132 plate appearances between the Brewers and Giants. The 33-year-old first baseman will likely have to settle for a minor-league contract this winter if he wants to keep his career going in 2021.
Smoak was designated for assignment by the Giants on Monday, Amy Gutierrez of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Smoak joined the Giants' major-league roster less than two weeks ago, but he'll be designated for assignment by an organization for the second time this season. His removal from the 40-man roster makes room for Alex Dickerson (personal), who was activated from the paternity list in a corresponding move. He drew interest on the open market earlier in September, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him land a contract with another organization.
Smoak was activated by the Giants prior to Thursday's game in San Diego, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. The Giants designated Pablo Sandoval for assignment, thus clearing a 40-man roster spot for Smoak, whom they signed to a minor-league contract earlier in the week. Smoak should see the occassional start down the stretch, but there is not an obvious path for him to get regular playing time.
Smoak agreed to a minor-league contract with the Giants on Wednesday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Smoak had a number of clubs vying for his services after he was released by Milwaukee on Sunday, and he apparently decided that San Francisco was the best spot to continue his career. He'll likely report to the Giants' alternate site in Sacramento initially, but it may not be long before the 33-year-old gets another look at the big-league level. The switch-hitting Smoak could fill the short side of a platoon at first base with the lefty-swinging Brandon Belt, or factor into the mix at designated hitter.