Dom Smith’s time as a New York Met has finally come to an end, as the first baseman was not tendered a contract.
Smith spent six seasons with the Mets after being drafted by the organization in the first round of the 2013 June Amateur Draft.
Smith has had plenty of opportunity to shine, and actually did so a bit in 2019 as well as during the shortened 2020 season. However, between Pete Alonso winning the hearts of the fans and Smith’s poor play, he’s never been able to hold the job long enough to be consistently productive.
In 1373 plate appearances, Smith slashed .246/.308/.424/.733 in 447 games. He’s hit 46 home runs and drove in 174 RBI’s, averaging 17 home runs and 65 RBI’s every 162 games played.
And while his offense has usually been questionable, he was always spot on at first base defensively.
The Mets have also non-tendered pitcher Sean Reid-Foley.
The Mets have traded for a pair of pitchers from the Marlins. Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham, a pair of right-handers that have both been DFA’d earlier this week, will both join the Mets.
In return, the Marlins will receive Franklyn Sanchez. A minor league prospect that can hit up 101MPH with his fastball.
Brigham and Sanchez will offer the Mets depth throughout a long season. Depth has always been important however, with so many players status currently up in the air, it’s hard to tell where both players will start.
I’m sure it’ll be in Syracuse, but I’m also sure we’ll be seeing these two in Queens a whole bunch. It may turn out to be a steal, especially if Hernandez can replicate his 2020-2021 form when he pitched to a 3.84 ERA in 17 combined starts.
Boy, oh boy, do I just absolutely love the off-season. Sure, it sucks that there isn’t baseball on the television but this is the time of year where my imagination is running wild. With the amount of free agents hitting the board and number of trade possibilities about to become available, expect the 2023 Mets to look significantly different.
And speaking of trade possibilities, Jon Morosi of MLB Network is reporting that the Blue Jays are expected trade one of their three catchers.
And while the Mets and Jays are potentially competing for the services of Brandon Nimmo, they can probably come together and work out a trade.
A player that stands out to me is Danny Jensen, simply because he has the most experience of the three Toronto based backstops, with a little bit of pop. Also, no one’s exactly going to cry when his contract runs out and it’s time to leave town.
By no means is Jensen a slugger and the Mets shouldn’t treat him as such with phenom Francisco Alvarez recovering from ankle surgery. However, he’s a decent sized step up from Tomas Nido that could nicely transition to back-up once Alvarez is ready.
In return, the Blue Jays would get prospect Alex Ramirez, an outfielder that continues to climb the ranks amongst the Mets’ system. With good enough speed to play center and a strong enough arm to warrant him for right, Ramirez’ power and athletic ability, could make him quite the steal as the team’s top prospects are jam packed with talent.
Calvin Ziegler made his professional debut just this year, the 20 year old prospect has a fastball that sits at about 93MPH, however, the 6’0” right-hander can kick it up to 97MPH. He also owns a plus curveball, but does at times struggle to find the zone which in turn may have him destined for the bullpen.
The next trade I would try to pull off would be for some bullpen help, particularly a left-hander the Mets could use late.
If I had to choose from the bunch in Toronto, Tim Mayza would be that pitcher. He’s a lefty that’s going to get other lefties out, alongside the occasional right-hander.
And of course we all know about Dominic Smith by this point. It just didn’t pan out for first baseman, at least not in Orange & Blue. However, I do believe Smith has plenty of opportunity left to turn his career around into a more productive direction.
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Someone please let Brandon Nimmo know that Canadian bacon is just a flavored smoked ham and that weed is practically legal everywhere now. I believe this is important for Brandon to know, especially with teams like the Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies emerging as just a couple of teams showing interest in the on-base machine.
All jokes aside, with the Blue Jays making a shocking trade today, of Teoscar Hernandez to the Seattle Mariners for late inning reliever Erik Swanson as well as pitching prospect Adam Macko. The Jays could be shifting their interest to Nimmo now, according to Jon Morosi.
During his earlier years in New York, fans debated on whether or not if Nimmo was no more than a fourth outfielder. Now headed into free agency for the first time in his career, Nimmo is clearly the best center fielder available on the open market. It’s impressive.
While the Mets are still interested in the Wyoming born player, the rest of the league will not make it easy for Eppler and Anderson. And of course, while owner Steve Cohen has more than enough money to make it happen 10x’s over, there’s still a financial limit the Mets do not want to cross.
This now makes this the second time in three years in which both the Mets and Blue Jays are showing interest in the same outfielder. The first being when the Toronto Blue Jays ended up winning the George Springer contest of 2021.
This will make for another interesting off season, so stay updated with all Mets content on Mets Junkies. Leave a comment and tell us what you think!
Former St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Jeff Albert has been named the Mets new hitting director. The team has also signed on Eric Jagers as a coach, interestingly enough, Jagers has never played professionally.
John Mozeliak, the president of Baseball Operations has praised the work of Albert, in the past. “Jeff accomplished exactly what we were hoping he would do.
Mozeliak continued to state, “He modernized our hitting program, our strategy. He made a huge contribution to our minor-league side. From that standpoint, it was a success.
Jagers, 41, formerly a coach in the Cincinnati Reds system, will join the Mets system as the team’s new Pitching Director.
The team has also added Eddie Rodriguez to be their Minor League Field Coordinator. Rodriguez spent the last three seasons with the Miami Marlins as the team’s catching coach on the Fish’ Major League staff.
Also…Will the Mets and Rays work something out before the deadline for the 40-man roster is set?
News has broke over the weekend that the Mets, amongst a few other teams, have called the Rays to inquire about pitching. While no names were mentioned, the Rays have more than a handful of players that could be on the move.
Lefty Ryan Yarborough is most likely the one to fit the criteria with his salary reaching $4.2M next season. The Rays could also shop righties Yonny Chirinos and Shawn Armstrong, however both players salaries combine to just $3M and that could help the penny pinching Ray’s go a long way.
Mark Polishuk of MLBTR has pointed out that the Rays were in a similar roster crunch last year with the deadline for the 40-man roster to be set is this upcoming Tuesday. The Rays would end up trading away away four players, all in separate deals. And while none of these trades helped any of the teams put money in the bank, it shows that’s the Rays aren’t scared to pull the trigger.
If it is Yarborough that the Mets are interested in, the lefty has a lifetime 40-31 record with a 4.33 ERA in parts of five seasons for the Rays.
With the Mets rotation potentially looking like it’ll be a completely different rotation next year, there’s no telling where Yarborough fits in just yet.
Tijuan Walker – With Walker having a player option for the 2023 season to go alongside a strong 2022, I expect the big right hander to decline the option and test his value on the market. Last season, Walker threw 157.1 innings while owning a solid 12-5 record and an above average 3.49 ERA. Will he hold up the market with his incredible talents? No, not exactly, but expect him to have a few extra years of security past this upcoming 2023 season.
Jacob deGrom – Now listen to all the hearts of Mets fans break simultaneously. It’s no secret that the man, oops, I mean the GOAT was underpaid during his last contract. And while I’m hoping it can all be looked over and resolved by Steve Cohen, and what seems to be his endless finances, I still believe that the combination of bad business and the team’s mixed results on-field will push deGrom into relocation. Especially if there’s any truth to the unconfirmed rumors of deGrom wanting to be closer to his home in Florida.
Dom Smith – It just feels like Smith’s time has run it’s course for about eight months now. With the Mets seemingly comfortable with Alonso at first base and the potential platoon of Vogelbach and Alvarez at DH, Smith will almost 100% be on another roster come Spring Training. And even though the Mets are selling low, they should still be able net a decent return.
The Mets have a plethora of players coming off of the roster in the next set of days. We’re not talking solely about the back-end of the rotation, or a late-inning defensive upgrade that you can plug and play.
One of the positions that need to be addressed with some urgency is the team’s set up man/closer.
Edwin Diaz- Man, did Diaz’ relationship with the Mets start out extremely rocky. Being that he was packaged in a trade that included Robinson Cano for highly touted prospect, center fielder Jarred Kelnic, the beef started before Diaz ever even suited up.
His first year of play in Queens didn’t exactly help any fans forget, as the right-hander ended up sporting a 5.59 ERA, a 2-7 record while the closer only had 26 saves during the 2019 campaign.
However, since then, Diaz has been as about as dominant as any pitcher in the league, including his teammate Jacob deGrom. Diaz has become such a fan favorite in Flushing, that his entrance to his games played have become such an incredible spectacle and it creates an electric energy in that stadium.
Alexis Diaz- Mets owner Steve Cohen has shown that he doesn’t mind spending the coin to put on a damn good show. He did exactly that in 2022 when the team hosted “Old Timers Day“.
Another amazing show would be watching the Mets roll out the Diaz brothers pitch back-to-back innings to close the game out. While the Mets did in fact contact the Cincinnati Reds to check in on acquiring Alexis, a deal never came to fruition.
In 2022, Diaz debuted with the Reds and appeared in 59 games while putting up a dominant 1.84 ERA with a 7-3 record and 10 saves… so don’t expect this to come cheap.
Andrew Chafin- Chafin will likely decline his $6.5M player option with the Detroit Tigers for the 2023 season. So this will be the second straight year, maybe even third, that the Mets will have interest in the lefty hander.
Chafin pitched to a 2.83 ERA in 57.1 innings during the 2022 season, which is actually a little bit of a drop off from his year prior (1.83 ERA).
So while his numbers against left handed batters were not as good as in 2021, he still pitched well enough (.233/.320/.344) for his agents to advise him to opt-out. In fact, it’s probably his numbers against right handed batters (.214/.268/.317), that’ll make him one of the more attractive options for this bullpen.