Love it or hate it, the San Diego Padres offering the New York Mets Chris Paddack, Eric Hosmer (on a reduced salary), and Emilio Pagan in exchange for Dominic Smith was probably the best one out there right now.
The need for first basemen around the league isn’t great. It’s the easiest spot to fill. In a worst case scenario, teams can simply put a poor defender with a nice bat there and hope he remembers to stretch.
The reported offer over the weekend from the Padres to the Mets is, unfortunately, the best one we’ll see for now. While Smith could still get traded before Opening Day, anything else the Mets could snag probably won’t be nearly as lucrative.
The Mets were right to not make the trade if they weren't 100% confident in it
There were a couple of reasons why fans didn’t like the trade. Are they in love with Smith? You bet. But in the right move, most fans would be willing to part with this square peg meant to play in a round hole.
Do Mets fans really dislike Eric Hosmer and/or Chris Paddack? Probably not nearly as much as they like Smith but close to it. Hosmer haunts many Mets fans from his time with the Kansas City Royals in the 2015 World Series. Paddack and his rookie rivalry with Pete Alonso from 2019 put a bad taste in the mouth of many.
The reason why many Mets fans were not on board with this trade wasn’t nearly as petty, though. It’s because it doesn’t guarantee them success. To the Mets, it delivers the ugliest two-letter word a fan can see: “if.”
If Paddack can turn things around in New York, sure. Let’s talk. If the Mets can flip Hosmer in a separate deal, okay. We may have ourselves a deal.
Then comes the third “if.” What if Smith grows into a really good player with the Padres? A little less concerning in this scenario, Mets fans seemed more negative about this trade idea because of the return than what the team was giving up. Even if Hosmer was only a member of the roster for a few hours, the idea of simply trading Smith for Paddack was not enticing enough for many.
And I’m in agreement. You’d be better off giving up more for a guarantee in the rotation, not someone on equal footing with Tylor Megill or David Peterson.
A trade involving Smith seems inevitable. Will it be before Opening Day? Will it be at some point during the regular season?
Smith was on the trade block all winter long and speculation about his future has been present since the moment Alonso made the 2019 Opening Day roster. Somehow, for three seasons, they managed to fit them both together and it kind of worked. Now, with some other more pressing needs, we should expect him to have a permanent presence on the trade block.