Chris Paddack’s recent Tommy John surgery has brought a new focus on the rumored offseason trade between the Mets and Padres that would have seen San Diego move Paddack, Eric Hosmer, Emilio Pagan, and over $30MM (to help cover Hosmer’s salary) to New York in exchange for Dominic Smith. Trade talks reportedly got pretty deep between the two sides, but ultimately fell apart due to what The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports as concerns from the Mets’ medical staff about Paddack’s health records.
With Paddack now on the shelf until at least partway through the 2023 season, it appears as though New York’s team doctors made the right call. Interestingly, Heyman reports that the Mets were also planning to flip Hosmer in another trade with an unknown team, rather than use the first baseman in their own lineup. Given the difficulties that the Padres have had for months in finding a taker for Hosmer, it would’ve been a little surprising to see him moved twice in short order, though it is also easy to imagine Hosmer’s market picking up with the Padres eating so much of his contract.
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- This isn’t the first time Dominic Smith has been a trade candidate, as the former top prospect has swung from cornerstone to expendable multiple times in his career. Smith has struggled to a .552 OPS over his first 79 plate appearances and isn’t pleased about being back in a part-time role. “Being here since I was 22, now I’m 26, and still in the same position….If there’s a team out there that wants me to play and wants to let me play, I would love to play every day. That’s just how I feel about that,” Smith told Newsday’s Anthony Rieber. However, Smith also stressed that he feels he can get the opportunity with the Mets, saying “I feel like I can impact this team in a number of ways, and that’s being [in the lineup] every day, in my opinion.” Even after Robinson Cano’s release theoretically should’ve created more at-bats for Smith at the DH spot, Smith still isn’t playing very often, seemingly caught in the catch-22 of not hitting well enough to earn more playing time, yet also not being able to get into a groove due to that lack of playing time.
- Chris Bassitt and the Mets agreed to a one-year deal (with a mutual option for 2023) today, which avoids the need for the two sides to determine Bassitt’s 2022 salary in an arbitration hearing. Speaking to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo and other reporters, Bassitt said he was “happy that it’s not going to be a distraction for anybody,” given how the lockout has pushed several unsettled arbitration cases into the actual season. While Bassitt said he would like to with the Mets beyond 2022, that same desire to just concentrate on this season doesn’t make it seem likely that extension talks will take place until the winter. “A lot of people are short-term thinking right now this year. We have such a special group that I don’t really want to be a distraction and hurt that in any way,” Bassitt said.