The New York Mets are in the midst of a historic offseason that includes them signing Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar. The additions of Marte and Canha reshape the team’s outfield rotation and potentially leads to a homegrown player being traded. That player may be Dominic Smith.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that there is “some expectation” that the Mets will trade at least one of Smith and Jeff McNeil. The former has a compact swing from the left side, is a year removed from an encouraging season at the plate and plays both first base and left field. If available, Smith is a compelling trade option for MLB teams.
Here are three ideal trade destinations for Dominic Smith.
3) Dominic Smith joins the Tampa Bay Rays
Due to a variety of factors including injuries and inconsistency, the Rays have been a revolving door at first base. Smith could end that quandary.
The left-handed hitter would provide manager Kevin Cash with a line-drive hitter. Jordan Luplow became the team’s first baseman down the stretch; he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks before the MLB lockout while Mike Brosseau was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers. In other words, Smith could become the Rays’ primary first baseman.
Smith is a respectable first baseman. The issue has been him being in the same organization as Pete Alonso and therefore often playing left field. Under team control through 2024, Smith could be the Rays’ starting first baseman for the next three seasons. When healthy, that could lead to Yandy Diaz playing the hot corner.
- Dominic Smith stats (career): .252/.312/.441, 46 home runs and 162 RBIs across 1,110 at-bats
Simultaneously, Smith can move to left when Cash makes an in-game defensive switch. That versatility, which was created by his situation with the Mets, works in Tampa Bay’s favor. He’s a player nearing his prime who perfectly fits their mold and adds more pop to a power-heavy offense.
All that said, the Rays may feel they have enough organizational depth to fill any positional voids.
2) Dominic Smith alters the San Diego Padres
Among the many unexpected elements of the 2021 Padres was their offense being a middle-of-the-pack unit. An unthinkable necessity a year ago, San Diego needs more offense. Smith provides them with such, as well as future versatility.
Smith would presumably play left field for new manager Bob Melvin. The former replaces Tommy Pham and joins forces with Trent Grisham and Wil Myers in the outfield grass. Two of the team’s three starting outfielders would have offensive upside, as Grisham and to a degree Smith are still in the raw stages of their MLB careers.
At the plate, Smith gives San Diego a left-handed bat to balance out their offense. Furthermore, he provides considerable pop in the middle portion of the order, which is where Smith would likely hit.
- Dominic Smith contract per Spotrac: under team control through 2022
Meanwhile, there are continued rumors regarding the Padres wanting to trade first baseman Eric Hosmer. If San Diego eventually does as such, Smith could move to the corner infield position. In the scenario a universal designated hitter is implemented, Hosmer could DH with Smith playing first.
What could stop the Padres from trading for Smith, however, is them feeling their roster will perform better in 2022 and the front office wanting to preserve prospect capital.
1) Dominic Smith to the Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers were a well-oiled machine with the potential to go deep into the playoffs last season. Then the Brewers totaled a combined six runs in their first-round series loss to the Atlanta Braves. The point? Milwaukee needs as much offense as possible, justifying them trading for Smith.
Rowdy Tellez was an encouraging midseason development for the Brewers and has been an efficient power hitter. On the other hand, he has been inconsistent. One way or another, Tellez and Smith can push each other to be the starting first baseman in spring training.
Manager Craig Counsell’s outfield rotation is a mixed bunch. On one hand, Tyrone Taylor was a pleasant development in 2021 and trade acquisition Hunter Renfroe is a proven power hitter. That said, Christian Yelich has struggled mightily at the plate of late and Lorenzo Cain is more of a fourth outfielder at this stage of his career.
At the very least, Smith can be the first player off the bench for the Brewers, regardless of the position he plays. If someone slips up at the plate, Smith becomes an everyday player. In the scenario that a universal DH exists, Smith is in the order. His versatility and the Brewers’ overall flexibility provide several ways for Smith to make an impact on this ballclub.
At some point, time will expire on this Brewers’ core. Acquiring Smith enhances their operation and gives their depth chart a boost.