Despite saying he felt first baseman Dominic Smith did not play well enough in his brief MLB stint last season to already earn the starting job in 2018, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he and the franchise remain optimistic in Smith's potential moving forward.
Speaking at the MLB Winter Meetings on Sunday, Alderson said the team, which has reportedly considered making a run at several free-agent first basemen, including Eric Hosmer and Carlos Santana, likely wouldn't make a move that would take Smith out of the equation for next season
"I wouldn't expect us to do something that totally eliminates Dominic as a possibility," Alderson said. "We're still very high on Dominic, some of my comments earlier in the offseason notwithstanding."
Last month, Alderson said Smith, the 22-year-old former first-round pick, would need to focus more on his training regimen in order to better his future.
"Dominic's going to have to be careful about his conditioning, certainly in the next few years if not throughout his career," Alderson previously said about Smith, who hit just .198 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs in 49 games after making his debut last August.
Smith, who entered last season ranked MLB.com's No. 63 prospect and Baseball America's No. 71 prospect, said he understood Alderson's comments, adding he has already lost nearly 12 pounds since season's end after taking on a new health and fitness plan.
"I'm going to make sure I make the right strides of being in the weight room every day and just looking forward to taking care of my body because at the end of the day, that's all you have," Smith said on "Mets Hot Stove" in November.