Searching for the defenders of not trading Dominic Smith

New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

Dominic Smith is one of three major New York Mets trade candidates alongside J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil. Like them, there’s room on the roster for what he can do. This becomes even truer if the National League does indeed adopt the DH.

Coming off a poor season with the Mets in 2021, Smith went back to where he was prior to the 2019 season: the doghouse of fans. He began to win us over in that 2019 season with his part-time performance. He then entrenched himself as a possible true option in left field with his 2020 performance that earned him mild MVP consideration. Having such limited action, he’s still kind of unknown.

Are Mets fans unsure about Smith or are there no defenders of not trading him just yet?

Seeking a Mets fan willing to defend the idea of not trading Dominic Smith

Rising Apple’s Jorge Eckhardt already went into detail as to why the Mets shouldn’t trade Davis. Then, without prompting, Ethan Marshall did the same with McNeil.

Two bases covered. What about the third?

Maybe this is a case of fans feeling that they don’t need to defend the idea. The structure is already laid out. Smith becomes a regular first base option for the Mets with Pete Alonso getting a lot of time as the DH. It’s pretty simple. He can even give you a few innings in left field if needed, too.

Even with the DH present at Citi Field there are other variables. I would ask if he’s a good enough offensive player to play first base. With all due respect to the great defenders at the position, you need to hit as well.

Nobody can say with any certainty what type of hitter Smith is. He’s the youngest of these three trade candidates on the roster. His season numbers have also swayed the most frequently during his time on the Mets.

Less than 400 games into his major league career spanning five seasons, Smith is a .252/.312/.441 hitter with an average of 19 home runs per 162 games. It’s not bad for a first baseman that can play superb defense. It’s also not good enough for what you want from one of your prime offensive spots on the field.

With Smith, it’s a bit of a waiting game. I think we know what Davis can accomplish in a full season. We saw it in 2019. We’ve seen McNeil already have an All-Star season and hit over .300 every year but last. In Smith’s case, there’s no glaring argument other than what your gut tells you.

Fans haven’t purchased a plane ticket out of LaGuardia for Smith just yet. He’s kind of in this weird purgatory at the moment. Practically benched in the final weeks of the 2021 season, I most definitely believe the Mets would move him in the right deal. However, for all of the reasons why they would have an interest in trading him away, other teams may balk at the idea. He has already crossed into his arbitration years and as a first baseman in a market full of them, he’d need to stand out in order for the Mets to get a solid return.

Right now, he doesn’t.

When the lockout ends, I expect the remainder of the offseason to move quickly. The Mets probably already have an idea of what their next move is. By then, will we have a true defender on the bandwagon to not trade Dominic Smith?

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