Mets first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith entered the winter looking like a prime trade candidate, but nothing has come together a few months since the team’s season ended. Perhaps Smith could still end up on the move in the coming weeks, but he’s not part of any “active trade talks” right now, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
A former top-100 prospect, Smith was a letdown at the major league level from 2017-18, but his production trended in the right direction last season. The 24-year-old slashed an impressive .282/.355/.525 with 11 home runs over 197 plate appearances. He dealt with injuries, though, and came up short in the Statcast category, evidenced by a .327 expected weighted on-base average that fell 41 points shy of his actual wOBA of .368.
Defensively, most of Smith’s action last year came in the corner outfield, but the team’s overrun by options in that area. Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis and the returning Yoenis Cespedes are all capable of playing there. While Smith’s more of a first baseman, good luck finding at-bats in that spot with NL Rookie of the Year winner Pete Alonso holding it down.
The Mets added lefty-hitting first baseman Matt Adams on a minors contract Friday, so he might serve as a fallback option if they do trade Smith. However, with the offseason winding down, a deal could be hard to come by for the club, as some of the teams that had the worst first base situations in the game last year have addressed the position since then (the Tigers signed C.J. Cron and the Marlins added Jesus Aguilar, to name two examples).
Speculatively, clubs like the Rangers, Royals and Orioles could still make sense for Smith, though it’s unknown whether they’ve shown interest in him. It’s also no sure thing the Mets even want to give Smith up, as Tim Healey of Newsday tweets that they’ve not “felt compelled to move him.” Even if New York’s loaded with other possibilities at Smith’s positions, the fact that he’s cheap, controllable depth surely appeals to the team. Smith’s not scheduled to reach arbitration for another year, and he’ll be eligible to go through the process four times.