The 24-year-old nominal left fielder/first baseman had a breakout in his injury-shortened 2019, hitting .282/.355/.881 with 11 home runs in 89 games. He also had one of the best highlights of the Mets’ 2019 season in its final at-bat: a walk-off home run in his first plate appearance in over two months. He also has endeared himself with fans in a number of ways, maybe most notably for his scooter antics while he was on the 60-day IL.
Smith and other man-who-stands-in-left-field J.D. Davis feel redundant, given that neither of them are particularly good at the position but had solid breakouts at the plate that made them playable; it makes sense that one or the other may be traded to bolster the Mets elsewhere. The Mets currently have Smith, Davis, newly-acquired Jake Marisnick, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo (and theoretically Yoenis Cespedes) in their outfield. Jeff McNeil also played 93 games in the outfield last season, though new manager Carlos Beltran said yesterday that he expects him to be their starting third baseman. General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said on Monday that the Mets have “probably a surplus of outfielders.”
Plus, he’s blocked at first base by reigning NL Rookie of the Year and First Team first baseman on the inaugural All-MLB team, Pete Alonso.
More concretely, Smith has been reportedly floated as a name the Mets could try to attach to Jed Lowrie or Jeurys Familia in attempts to off-load their contracts by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on December 3.