Dominic Smith and the New York Mets have never clicked at the same time. When Smith has hit at an All-Star level (2020), the Mets have been subpar. Meanwhile, when the Mets have been firing on all cylinders (2022 and varying parts of 2019), Smith hasn’t been in the order or struggled altogether.
New York recently sent Smith to Triple-A, marking another chapter in the first baseman’s up-and-down MLB career. Now more than ever, he needs a change of scenery. Here are three ideal trade destinations for Smith.
Dominic Smith to the Oakland Athletics
The A’s are in the midst of a severe transitioning period, as they traded away/lost several vital players in the offseason. They need players to build around. Smith could become such a player for their organization.
First baseman Matt Olson was among the players Oakland dealt, and they’re getting minimal production from the position this season. Becoming the team’s new first baseman, Smith provides a respectable corner infielder but also someone who’s still just 26.
- Dominic Smith stats (career): .247/.310/.428, 46 HR, 176 RBIs, 1,196 at-bats
When a player is deployed twice a week and/or has an indefinite role, it’s unrealistic to expect them to perform at a high level. Smith has a compact swing from the left side, can slug at a considerable level, and fields his position well. He’d become one of the driving forces of manager Mark Kotsay’s offense.
With that said, the A’s may prefer to stick with stopgap first basemen until they’re ready to compete again, and instead put the focus on other positions.
Dominic Smith to the Chicago Cubs
From a sheer talent standpoint, the Cubs have an offensive core to move forward with. On the other hand, they’re 23-33 and lacking in offensive production thus far. Smith would aid them in that regard.
Yes, Frank Schwindel has continued to swing a power bat and has been a respectable all-around first baseman for the Cubs. At the same time, he has struggled to get on base this season, and the universal designated hitter allows the Cubs to alter Schwindel’s role to get Smith at first.
Smith is the ideal pickup for an in-between team like the Cubs. He gives manager David Ross a legitimate everyday player who simply needs a team to commit to him. Smith, Seiya Suzuki, Patrick Wisdom, Nico Hoerner, and others would make for a plausible offensive attack with upside. Meanwhile, Smith can bounce out to left field when Schwindel plays first.
The factor that could stop the Cubs from acquiring Smith, though, is their wanting to see how Schwindel fares as the starting first baseman over an entire season.
Dominic Smith to the Kansas City Royals
The Royals are going nowhere fast. Their lineup is erratic, starting pitching continues to limp along and the bullpen consequently suffers. They need players to generate enthusiasm for their club. Smith is a worthwhile investment for the Royals.
Carlos Santana is having another underwhelming season and Hunter Dozier continues to dabble in multiple roles; the Royals need a new first baseman. Smith is ready to make hay, which he could do from the jump in the middle of manager Mike Matheny’s lineup.
With Smith holding down first and prized prospect Bobby Witt Jr. at either the hot corner or shortstop, the Royals would have a pair of infielders to be enthused by. In thought, Smith becomes the impetus for their offense while the presumed future of the franchise (Witt) continues to get his feet beneath him at the big-league level.
Smith isn’t making the Royals a .500 team, but he makes them more respectable at the plate and in the field. Plus, if the Royals want prospect Nick Pratto to play first base down the stretch, they can make Smith their permanent left fielder.