Justin Smoak writes thank you letter to Blue Jays teammates, staff and fans

Former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak. (David Zalubowski/AP)

After signing a one-year, $5-million deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, first baseman Justin Smoak took a moment to thank Toronto in a tweet released by the Toronto Blue Jays.

First, Smoak addressed the fans.

“There are hardly words to describe what a unique experience it has been to play for a country, this city and this team,” Smoak wrote in the thank you message. “Thank you for embracing me and my family and allowing us to create memories we will be able to share with our kids for the rest of our lives. Canada will always feel like a second home.”

Next, the 33-year-old thanked the entire Blue Jays staff.

“Every single one of you impacted our lives and we are so thankful for an organization that continually went above and beyond to take care of our family,” Smoak wrote. “You cared about us as human beings, not just an employee – that was not taken for granted.”

Finally, Smoak took a moment to give some advice to his former Toronto teammates.

“Explore the city, embrace the experience and get involved in this amazing community,” he wrote. “You will not regret it.”

Smoak spent the past five seasons with the Blue Jays. He posted 20-plus home runs three seasons in a row and an OPS+ above league average. The first baseman earned $8 million last season with the Blue Jays.

The new Milwaukee contract will pay Smoak $4 million with a $1-million buyout to guarantee the 33-year-old a payout of at least $5 million. The contract also includes a $5.5-million club option for 2021.

Smoak will be joined in Milwaukee by former Blue Jay Eric Sogard, with reports saying he signed a one-year deal with a club option for 2021.

Smoak’s wife Kristin also shared a thank you note to Toronto on Twitter.

“The amount of messages we have received are overwhelming,” she wrote. “As Justin stated, we could never have imagined such a special experience.

“(Canada) is a special place. Toronto has a heartbeat that no place can replicate. We will miss everyone dearly, but forever grateful for the opportunity.”


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