Dominic Smith was one of my favorite players the last couple of years. He was a great hitter and seemed to be a really fun teammate. This season he has completely lost his starting job and has shown that he doesn’t really have a place in the future.
Smith’s position is first base and that spot will be handled by Pete Alonso for a long time. This season Smith became a full-time left fielder and to his credit, did improve, but is still well below average out there.
With the DH likely coming to the National League, an argument could be made to just DH Alonso and slot Smith in at first base which is his natural position. I don’t think this is a good idea for a couple of reasons.
Alonso really improved defensively this season, posting 4 DRS and 1 OAA, both much higher than his previous highs. He’s blossoming into an above-average defensive first baseman so I’d rather not take him away from that position.
Another reason is the impending return of Robinson Cano. After missing the 2021 season with his second failed PED test, Cano is expected to return next season to the Mets as he still has two years left on his deal.
Of course, there is the chance that the Mets just cut him, but I wouldn’t expect them to not give Cano a shot since he is due to make a combined $48 million dollars in the next two seasons.
I think the best spot for Cano would be at DH. He is 38 years old and did not play this season so the chances that he would be productive in the field seem slim to me. Hopefully, they can get a little bit of production out of his bat.
This means the only spot left for Smith on this roster would be back in left field. Smith has an 83 OPS+ this season, over 80 points lower than last season. If his bat is not productive again while also being below average in the outfield, he will be a negative WAR player again like he has been this season.
I believe the Mets should trade Smith either for a pitcher or an outfielder while teams might value him.