As the start of Spring Training looms, the New York Mets should explore the possibility of trading Dominic Smith, and one of the teams in the market for a new first baseman in the Kansas City Royals.
Prior to his call up before the 2017 season, Smith was the club’s number two prospect and the heir apparent at first base, a position the Mets had trouble getting consistent offensive production out of in recent years.
Smith underperformed in his initial call up, as well as his 2018 return to the major leagues, but appeared to have finally turned a corner in the 2019 season, batting a career-high .282 with a .355 OBP with 11 home runs.
However, in that same season, Smith’s role as the first baseman of the future was supplanted by the eventual Rookie of the Year winner Pete Alonso, who set the new team record with 53 home runs on the year. Beyond that, the Mets currently have a crowded outfield, meaning Smith is a man without a position going forward.
Most fans can agree Smith has too much potential to be a glorified pinch hitter, and after he turned a corner last season, now appears to be the time to trade him while his stock is at an all-time high. The only question is which team is in the market for a first baseman with some talent the Mets could want? After all, there are fewer teams now than at the start of the year who could use a guy like him.
One of the teams in the market for a new first baseman is the Kansas City Royals and I have two players in their organization the Mets would want back in return.
Simply put, the Royals are in need of a first baseman. Last season, Ryan O’Hearn started a bulk of the games for the Royals at first base, but struggled at the plate, batting .195 with a .281 OBP with 14 home runs in 105 games.
A former top prospect, 2019 was O’Hearn’s first full season in the MLB, meaning he definitely has room to grow, and new Royals Manager Mike Matheny holds him in high regard as a prospect. However, adding Smith to the roster would definitely help to bolster their lineup. As they are an AL team, they could DH on of them and start the other at first base, or start Smith at left in the outfield, where they also have an opening.
The point is, the Royals are rebuilding their team and could use a player like Smith as they try to build a competitive young team. They would have flexibility at putting him at a few different positions in the lineup, and we would be under team control for 4 seasons.
In return, Tim Hill would fill the team’s need for an additional left-handed reliever in the bullpen. Hill is a submarine-style pitcher going into his 3rd MLB season. In 2019, he had a 3.63 ERA in 46 games, and his potential addition to the Mets would give the pen another option against left-handed hitters and take some of the workload off of Justin Wilson.
As for the minor league pitcher, Daniel Tillo, he is a hard-throwing southpaw starter who split the 2019 season between KC’s Single-A and Double-A minor league teams. Tillo stands at 6′ 5″ 215 lb, with a fastball sitting in the mid-high 90’s, but still needs to work on his control. Between the two teams, Tillo appeared in 29 games, starting 23 of them, posting a 3.72 ERA over 130.2 innings.
Tillo would be a bit of a project piece, but has a nice upside, and would be an excellent addition to the club in addition to Hill, making this realistic trade proposal I believe both the Mets and the Royals would both benefit from.
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Do you think it would benefit the Mets to pursue this trade proposal?