J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, or Dominic Smith? Which one should the New York Mets trade?
There’s a case for all of them. Each has pluses and minuses. At their best, they can be huge contributors for the Mets. At their absolute worst, they’re a bench piece better utilized in a trade to improve the club somewhere else.
Smith has been on the trade block for several years now. Early on, it was because he wasn’t playing particularly well. Circumstances have changed and his presence as one of the Mets most likely to be traded before Opening Day goes far deeper than this. Should he be the one the Mets actually move on from? Let’s look at three reasons why the Amazins should make him the one to deal.
The Mets roster doesn't have room to carry two first basemen
Smith is not a natural left fielder and Pete Alonso is getting better at first base. Although he may have gotten a little better at the position, Smith belongs at first base. This isn’t going to happen while Alonso is healthy. And even with the DH coming to the National League, Alonso should remain at first base for the majority of games.
Carrying two first basemen—even if one can move off the position and eat up some defensive innings elsewhere—is rarely a good strategy. It can work only if both provide your team with potent offense.
Say, for instance, the Mets went out and signed free agent Freddie Freeman this offseason. It works even at the expense of having two first basemen on the roster. Alonso becomes the near-permanent DH while Freeman gets the majority of innings on defense.
That said, Smith is far less of a guarantee to produce at the plate. The Mets could keep him on the bench and see if he’s able to produce in a part-time role. Given other needs for the roster and my other two reasons why the Mets should trade him, the team may be better off not sitting around and waiting.