Source: Nats are signing Dom Smith to a MLB deal
The last time we saw Dom Smith, he was in a Mets uniform and nobody was surprised when he was DFA’d in November which stirred up the speculation that he would be signed by the Nats. A source told us that general manager Mike Rizzo was in touch with Smith’s agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, at Roc Nation, several weeks ago. Of course it made sense for both sides to see what else was available out there, and per Jon Heyman, Smith signed a one-year deal worth $2 million with an additional $2 million incentives package.
This move for Smith starts to solidify that Jeimer Candelario will almost certainly start at third base, and that would move Joey Meneses back into the outfield at left field. Of course, if Rizzo signs a left fielder like David Peralta or Jurickson Profar, then Meneses would be the primary DH. As of now, Matt Adams would seem to have a clear path to DH as we pencil in players. Adams is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and he will get some stiff competition from Michael Chavis who is also an NRI.
Smith was once a rising star at just 24 years old, he was an MVP candidate three short years ago then he fell off and ended up being demoted back to the Mets’ Triple-A team last year batting just .194.
With Pete Alonso as the Mets’ first baseman, Smith was being shuffled between the outfield, first base, DH, and pinch-hitting. The only thing good was his first baseman’s defense. He was horrible in left field and one of the lowest rated fielders in the outfield with a -10 OAA in 2021 in just 190 defensive chances. Smith was a +2 OAA at limited action at first base last year.
The good news on Smith is that he is signed for 2023 with an extra year of team control in 2024 if all goes well he would be in his final year of arbitration. In 2021 and 2022, Smith played in a combined 139 games and batted .299/ .366/ .571 with a .937 OPS and a 150 OPS+. He was an MVP candidate in 2020.
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