Sometimes the best moves a general manager can make is doing nothing at all. Thank you to the New York Mets for not trading Dominic Smith.
If Dominic Smith hasn’t won you over yet, what games have you been watching? The New York Mets first baseman, occasional left fielder, and once in a blue moon designated hitter is a finalist for the 2020 Hank Aaron Award and fans couldn’t be prouder.
Smith’s rise to this level wasn’t easy. He played miserably in 2017 and 2018 at the big league level. After those two seasons, many fans were ready to trade him for a medium-sized bag of balls. They didn’t even have to be baseballs. Anything round that bounces.
Things changed a lot in 2019. Smith became the club’s number one cheerleader. From the bench, he emerged as a pinch-hitting threat. Smith also got a few starts in left field where he even improved slightly. He more than made up for those shortcomings with his bat.
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After two productive seasons—one better than the last—Smith looks to have a real future with the big league team in Flushing. Finding a way to get his bat into the lineup might be challenging without a permanent stay by the DH. We can worry about that once it officially disappears which many believe it will not.
During Brodie Van Wagenen’s time as the general manager, it seems he has muffed quite a few trades and other transactions. In those two short years, we saw plenty of talented players thrive in other cities.
Travis d’Arnaud, Blake Taylor, Jarred Kelenic, etc. have all made Van Wagenen decisions look horrific. Fortunately, one decision he never did make was to trade Smith away.
This has worked out well for the Amazins, mostly because the return for Smith wouldn’t have come close to matching what he has given them. Had the Mets pulled the trigger on a deal last offseason, the best they could have hoped for was a good middle reliever.
Hypothetically, if the Mets were to trade Smith right now, they could get a whole lot more.
They’re not going to trade him, though. I firmly believe that. You would have to be insane to trade a young, controllable player after the season he had. The return would have to be magnificent for the team to even consider it.
The Mets do still have their challenges when it comes to Smith and getting his bat in the lineup. It’s easy with the DH. You just plug him in at first base and allow Pete Alonso to focus on hitting.
Minus the DH option, the Mets will have to move him to left field on a permanent basis. This means maneuvering a few other players around and possibly trading someone else.
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At least for now, I think Smith stays put. It might not be the best notch on his GM belt, but not trading Smith is one of the best decisions BVW made.