New York Mets are missing out by not acquiring Mallex Smith
By Leen Amin
The New York Mets will soon have two former Seattle Mariners on their roster. Unfortunately, neither is Mallex Smith.
The blockbuster trade between the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners which will send Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to Flushing is expected to be finalized within the coming days. It appears that the Mets will give Seattle at least Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jarred Kelenic, and Justin Dunn in exchange for the All-Star second baseman and MLB’s best closer of 2018.
When talks of the trade began, there was mention of outfielder Mallex Smith, whom the Mariners acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for catcher Mike Zunino, being included in the package.
That no longer seems to be the case and that is a mistake on the part of the Mets. Here is why.
The outfield situation has been one of great debate, especially recently. In 2018, the outfield was greatly affected by a long-term injury sustained by Bruce and Yoenis Cespedes missed the majority of the season, yet again.
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When Bruce did play, he was far from effective and Michael Conforto, who should be one of the Mets’ best offensive players, was disappointing. One of the areas this organization needs to focus on most if they hope to have a chance at contending in 2019 is the outfield.
Mallex Smith would be an excellent fit to this ball club.
During his three years in the majors, Smith has slashed .277/.346/.384. He even led the league in triples in 2018. Smith is also attractive because of his speed, which allows him to steal bases, and because his strikeout rate is impressively low.
Another benefit is that he is still very young. At 25 years old, he has become an experienced outfielder with room to grow and improve. Not only are his numbers impressive to any club but the Mets could really use him.
Since the end of the 2018 season, serious questions have arisen surrounding the outfield. As if the situation was not bad enough already, the Mets will be trading away one of their primary outfielders in Bruce.
Additionally, Cespedes is going to miss a good portion of the 2019 season after recovering from surgery on both his heels. After this trade is finalized, the Mets’ outfield will come down to Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Juan Lagares.
The problem with this is that there is practically no depth in the outfield and Lagares has a bad history of injuries, so the team will face a serious dilemma if Lagares serves another DL-stint in 2019.
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Smith would add much-needed depth to the outfield if the Amazins were to acquire him. Since he is no longer part of the package, the Mets must make acquiring an additional outfielder a priority during the offseason.