The New York Mets are considering using Dom Smith as a trade chip in a potential salary dump that would clear space for 2020.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the New York Mets are considering creative ways to move salary this winter. Rosenthal specifically mentions the Mets wanting to move Jeurys Familia and Jed Lowrie.
Rosenthal also names Dom Smith as a player who could be used as a potential trade chip. Smith is one of the New York Mets’ most valuable trade chips. He is plus defender at first base, and his bat finally came to life in 2019. He’ll also only be in his age-25 season in 2020.
The Mets owe Familia $11.5 million for the 2020 season and his contract will count $10 million against the luxury tax. Lowrie is in a similar boat. The Mets owe him $10 million for 2020, which will count against the luxury tax as well.
It makes sense that the Mets would want to dump those two salaries. Familia was awful last season and Lowrie only had nine at-bats due to injury. Considering both are on the wrong side of 30, bounce-back seasons don’t seem particularly likely.
If either of those two is to have a bounce-back season, Familia makes more sense. He was phenomenal in 2018 and has a history of pitching well. Last season was the worst of his career.
It makes sense that the Mets would consider moving Smith. He is blocked by Pete Alonso at first base and he’s not playable in the outfield, despite attempts to put him out there last season. However, trading Smith to another team for the sole purpose of shedding salary seems to be misguided.
It’s a waste of valuable trade chip who could help bring in an impact player under contract for multiple years. The salary constraints that the Wilpons have stuck on Brodie Van Wagenen are forcing him to get creative.