Does Dominic Smith have a future with the New York Mets? Let’s look at three realistic scenarios for him.
The New York Mets have two young first basemen with the potential to stay in the major leagues for a long time. But, is this roster big enough for the two of them?
I love Dominic Smith. I love his sweet left-handed swing. I love his big smile every time he makes a smooth play at first. I love the way he scores from second on singles. And, I love the way he celebrates after his first base competition, Pete Alonso, hits a home run.
But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Even if you like Smith, you must come to the realization at some point that he will never surpass Alonso on the depth chart. There is simply no room for him in the starting lineup. And, frankly, keeping Smith on this roster just isn’t fair to him.
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Sure, he’ll get a few at-bats here and there. But, that’s now. Two of the Mets’ corner infielders, Todd Frazier and Jed Lowrie, are both injured. What happens when they come back? Are the Mets going to cut down even more on Smith’s minuscule amount of playing time?
The Mets are going to reach a juncture sooner or later and a decision is going to have to be made about Smith’s role in this organization. Does he have a future on this team?
Let’s go over some scenarios.
Injuries force Smith into more playing time
As a Mets fan, it’s absurd to assume anyone is going to stay healthy during a season. If Frazier and Lowrie can’t keep it together over the long haul, or something happens to Alonso, I’d be comfortable knowing Smith has first base locked down.
Injuries aren’t ideal and operating under the assumption that they’re going to happen isn’t unheard of. But, there is a lot more first base depth on the Mets than you think because anyone can play there. It’s an offense-first position that doesn’t favor players with smooth defensive actions like Smith.
If there aren’t enough injuries to force Smith into the lineup, wouldn’t it be a tragedy if he doesn’t get a chance to shine because a spot at first simply never opens up?
Smith stays on the bench
The Mets might decide Smith is valuable enough to them as a pinch hitter and a defensive replacement to keep him on the bench. They may also want to take advantage of the six years of control they have and wait it out before making any major decisions.
The downside of doing this is that it most likely undersells Smith’s actual value. The truth is, less talented players are more than capable of pinch-hitting and backing up the easiest position on the field.
I like to think Smith has more potential than that. He could be starting elsewhere, which brings us to our next scenario.
Smith gets traded
Again, I love Smith. But, sometimes love is tough, and we have to make decisions that are best for the people we love.
Smith’s career will never take off as a member of the Mets as long as he is behind Alonso. Alonso looks like an offensive juggernaut up to this point and, given his mediocre defense, won’t be switching positions anytime soon.
The Mets appear to have given up on Smith’s left field experiment as well, leaving them at an impasse.
Through April 3rd, Smith has 5 hits in 10 at-bats to go along with a walk, 4 runs, and 4 runs batted in. So, if the Mets are planning on showing off Smith’s value before trading him, it’s working so far.
With Frazier and Lowrie still on the injured list, I say it’s more likely we see Smith getting traded closer to the trade deadline. A rebuilding team would certainly take a chance on Smith for the future, and packaging him with someone else could make for a very interesting acquisition to assist the Mets with a playoff push down the road.
I believe this is the best scenario by far. It’s the only one that benefits both the Mets and Smith.
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Mets, if you love Smith as much as I do, set him free.