If the New York Mets make any big trades this summer, first baseman Dominic Smith probably won’t headline it. The big man has lost much, if not all, of the value he once held.
One fun element about this New York Mets season aside from all of the winning is the look ahead at the trade deadline. Personally, it’s one of my favorite parts of the season. With the Mets setting themselves up as buyers, it’s even more exciting.
While looking to the future, Mets fans are putting together rhetorical packages to help them land guys like J.T. Realmuto, Wilson Ramos, and others to improve the roster. A name frequently mentioned on sports radio in these proposed packages is first baseman, Dominic Smith.
Sadly, Smith no longer holds the same trade value he once did.
A sloppy debut season in 2017 definitely hurt the Mets and any chance of using Smith as a key part of a trade.
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Working against him further is the fact that first basemen aren’t as intriguing anymore. As we witnessed over the offseason, plenty of really good players at the position went unsigned for a long period of time. Others settled for far less money than they deserved.
Smith isn’t the type of player who can move to the outfield or split his time at another position either. He’s a first baseman through and through. Teams rarely carry more than one on the roster. Even in the American League, the preference is to have at least one guy who can also play a corner outfield spot.
At 6’0 with a listed weight of 239 pounds, imagining Smith anywhere but first base is near impossible. So, unless he starts to hit, his trade value is next to nothing.
It also won’t help that he’s already battled injuries early on in 2018. Any time a prospect is traded, the team acquiring him needs to know he’ll get on the field.
The Mets could still shop Smith
Just because Smith has very little trade value at the moment doesn’t mean the Mets are “stuck” with him. Smith can tear up Triple-A this season and regain some prominence. It’s also possible that he is worthy enough to help the Mets land a rental player at a lesser position. Teams would surely trade a guy on an expiring contract if it meant landing someone with the potential Smith carries.
Most possible of all, I see Smith as a guy the Mets could package with other players. He won’t headline any major trade but could become the piece that gets the Mets over the hump.
Let’s say, for instance, the Mets are able to add a credible catcher on July 31st. Pairing Smith with another lesser prospect could get the deal done. All by his lonesome, we shouldn’t expect the Mets to get anything of great value back in return.
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