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NY Mets Lineup: 3 players are riding the pine since Javier Baez arrived

Aug 31, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez (23) catches a fly ball hit by Miami Marlins first baseman Lewin Diaz (not pictured) during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 31, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Javier Baez (23) catches a fly ball hit by Miami Marlins first baseman Lewin Diaz (not pictured) during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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Aug 18, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; New York Mets left fielder Dominic Smith (2) makes a sliding catch off a shallow popup off the bat of San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford during the second inning at Oracle Park. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Because of the Mets lineup shuffling, Dominic Smith’s playing time is going down

As a result of the Mets adding Baez and then moving McNeil to left field every so often, Dominic Smith has seen his starts disappear as well. He has had a miserable year at the plate despite being the only position player on the Opening Day roster to not hit the IL!

This isn’t the 2020 MVP candidate Smith we saw last year. Smith has shown limited home run power and isn’t racking up doubles at a consistent rate. In fact, there’s not much to say about his offense that’s nice at all. Other than coming up with the occasional clutch hit, which we all thank him for, it has been tough to watch him fall apart.

Defensively, Smith has gotten better but he’s nothing special in left field. Still built for first base, whether or not there’s a DH in the National League next year should determine his fate with the Mets.

The problem here is that trading any first baseman other than the elite doesn’t usually net a great return. The free agent market is littered with bad defenders you can plug in at first base—many of whom can hit as well or better than Smith. They also won’t cost as much money and are completely free aside from their salary. Why would a team give up anything in a trade for Smith when they can simply sign a desperate veteran for around $2-3 million?

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Smith isn’t a “must trade” candidate but he’s likely to be someone the club shops if they plan to make major changes this winter.

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