3. Yankees-Dominic Smith Trade
The issues we learned about from Dominic Smith’s 2021 season are glaring. Without a universal DH, he doesn’t quite work in the National League — and he certainly doesn’t work as a starter for the Mets, who can’t evict their 50-homer Polar Bear from first base in exchange for their 26-year-old contact specialist who’s somehow rougher at the position than Pete Alonso.
Smith isn’t a full-time left fielder. He’s closer to a first baseman, but his 2021 threw his ability to stick as a starter into question after his 2020 did so much good in arguing his case.
Now, Smith needs to rebuild the value he lost, and he could do it by playing Luke Voit’s backup role in 2022 at the right price in the Bronx.
Still just 26, Smith turned a major corner in 2019, playing sporadically (89 games, 32 in left) while posting a 132 OPS+ that suggested a role in this core. 2020 confirmed that notion; he socked 10 home runs in 50 games, batting .316, posting a 168 OPS+ and finishing 13th in the MVP race for a team that whiffed the playoffs.
Unfortunately, Smith’s 2021 featured a complete reset. He looked a step slow in the field. His power nosedived back to 11 homers in 145 games. His offensive metrics were poor (barrel percentage in the 31st percentile, average exit velocity in the 43rd), and his outfield defense was beyond suspect (the literal first percentile in outs above average). Smith is almost back to zero, and could use a short porch to flip line drives up and over, if you know what we mean.
What if the Yankees exchanged Garcia, their own reclamation project, for Smith, then tossed in some projectable talent to justify the swap? After all, Smith’s track record may be short, but it’s much longer than Deivi’s.
Dom for Deivi and Hayden Wesneski. Who says no?