Dom Smith being optioned down to Triple-A Syracuse was a shocker to Mets fans. But to other teams, it came a good chance at an opportunity.
Just as SNY contributor Anthony McCarron wrote when the move went down, it was the right call by the Mets to send Smith down. He may have been performing well, but there is no true spot on the team for him other than a left-handed bat off the bench. Pete Alonso is a mainstay at first base after his stellar April, and there isn't enough room in the outfield for him to be explored there further.
Other teams around the league recognize this, and according to MLB.com's Marc Feinsand, they are targeting him for a potential trade situation with New York.
"He is certainly a player other teams will target," one talent evaluator told Feinsand. "There will be a substantial market for Smith. I think it's a timing issue and a question of depth."
Two executives added that they believed the Mets sent him down so he could get consistent playing time, therefore raising his trade stock. It would make sense considering Smith was the team's only left-handed bat on the bench, and he was hitting .333/.459/.400 with four RBI.
But that doesn't mean the Mets should be expected to move Smith now, or even soon for that matter. The season is only a month in, and teams are still trying to evaluate where they need to add help. New York, though, could use some pitching depth in their bullpen, and one American League GM believes pitching is where the Mets will go once the market develops.
"They could trade him for pitching later," the GM said. "Let him build value by playing and hitting. There's not much of a trade market now."
When that market comes to fruition, teams interested in Smith will need to make sure they can use him on an everyday basis. That is why no matter what level Smith is playing at, his continued success will be vital.
"It takes time for trades to develop, and someone has to view hm as an everyday first baseman," an NL GM said to Feinsand. "it's hard to trade for a bench bat that plays first base."
So, as Smith reports to Triple-A, know that teams other than the Mets will be greatly intrigued about how he does. It could determine whether or not he gets a shot elsewhere to stay in the Majors for good.