The addition of the DH this year could have more teams interested
The addition of the DH to the National League was supposed to secure Smith’s spot on the Mets roster. This is what we were all thinking in 2020.
Things have changed. Smith isn’t going to move to first base full-time. The Mets aren’t going to put him out in left field for 162 games either. The DH won’t help Smith’s career in New York continue. In fact, it could have the exact opposite effect.
There are 14 other teams who now need to make a decision about who their DH will be. Many already have him on their roster. Some will be moving their first baseman to the position. This opens up an opportunity for someone like Smith to become an asset on any club’s roster.
Don’t be mistaken; there aren’t teams lining up to sell the farm for Smith. A platoon situation might be what’s best for him in the coming season. Teams with no better solution at first base or a willingness to wait and compete could make Smith the left-handed part of a first base platoon. His ability to play a serviceable left field should add a hypothetical half point to his value even if he never plays the position again.
Even if Smith makes it to the Opening Day roster, we should expect him to be a midseason trade piece to dangle. The fit with the Mets is imperfect right now.