The New York Mets came close to trading Dominic Smith to the San Diego Padres this offseason. Instead, they held onto the lefty first baseman/no longer outfielder to see what he could give them in 2022.
Smith served his purpose this year. He played well leading up to the decision to DFA Robinson Cano. Had he not, it might have been Smith who went down to Syracuse earlier than he did and Cano would have remained with the club.
Smith’s recent demotion has all but ruined any of the positive trade value he once had. There’s no longer a possibility of getting any major league talent of equal value back in return for him. For the Mets, they should still be able to get something back for him. Whether it’s good or not is hard to tell.
The Mets should still be able to trade Dominic Smith for potential
What do the major league Mets need most this year? It’s becoming abundantly clear that it’s pitching. The offense has heated up and an arm wouldn’t hurt them right now.
The Mets wouldn’t be able to get anything substantial in a trade involving Smith. They won’t save the rotation or better the bullpen all that much. Likely, any major leaguer they could swap Smith for would be a rental or someone having a bad year in the same position as him.
A player like Dinelson Lamet of the San Diego Padres would probably be the type the Mets would look for—but not him. Lamet is already older than Smith and had an arguably worst year in the majors this season. A down-on-his-luck Padres pitcher the team would like to trade away, guys like him—but again, not him—should be what the Mets aim to add if they go out seeking some immediate help.
The need to trade Smith right now just isn’t there, though. The Mets could have a larger crop of teams interested if they hold onto him and then deal him away in the offseason. At the very least, he does give them someone they can turn to if there is a major injury on the big league roster. Smith has played at his best when he had to earn his playing time—like in 2019 and 2020. Perhaps we do see him back in the big leagues again, a little more eager to stick around knowing he doesn’t have much job security.
Another option for New York would be to swap Smith for a prospect either at the lower level or even someone nearing Rule 5 Draft eligibility. This comes with a little more risk. The Mets might be giving up on Smith and getting nothing back in return at all. Trading him for a big league player, even a bad one, at least gives them something.
There is no perfect trade out there for Smith right now in large part because of his defensive limitations. First basemen who haven’t hit consistently are just too unappealing. His minor league options, arbitration eligibility, and good reputation do help his cause. Any team can sample Smith and simply non-tender him a contract if they are unhappy. Of course, they could be left with absolutely nothing and feeling silly if they trade something pretty nice over to the Mets.