The Washington Nationals have decided that since they probably won’t be able to compete with the New York Mets they might as well take a flier on one of their MLBbro castoffs.
We've agreed to terms on a one-year contract with 1B Dominic Smith.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) January 4, 2023
Washington hopes they can rekindle the bat of first baseman Dominic Smith to give them stability at a position that was a challenge in 2022, since the departure of Josh Bell.
Washington Nationals Hoping To Hit A Lick With Dominic Smith
With the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies already going on exorbitant free agent spending sprees during the hot stove league, Washington remains frugal on making long term commitments to high end players as they try and wait for promising prospects to blossom.
Young pros like shortstop CJ Abrams, statuesque slugger James Woods, pitcher Josiah Gray and 2022 top draft pick Elijah Green.
However, the organization remains in a holding pattern of sorts as their regional television rights continue to be hampered by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and the Baltimore Orioles, who control them.
Can New Team Reinvigorate Dominic Smith?
Smith, 27, has seen his stock fall dramatically over the past two injury hampered seasons. His deal is not an economic risk for the franchise as they try to remain competitive while a rumored sale of the team continues to be the albatross that encumbers them. Smith, a former starter with the Mets, has reportedly signed a one year $2 million deal with another $2 million in bonuses.
Dominic Smith Could Be Opening Day Starter For Nationals
Smith could be the opening day first baseman for the Nationals this year. Washington used Josh Bell at the position in 2021 and most of 2022 until he was dealt to the Padres in the Juan Soto trade. The Nats got Luke Voit back in that deal but let him walk at the end of last year. Smith will battle for the spot at first base with Joey Meneses who hit 13 home runs in 56 games. He and Smith could share first base and the designated hitter spot.
Mets Had High Expectations For Smith
Earlier in his career Smith looked the part of a consistent major league hitter but has found it difficult to stay healthy.
With the emergence of all star and home run derby champ Pete Alonso the Mets tried him in the outfield with mixed results. He has dealt with quad, ankle, and shoulder injuries over the last three years which led to time spent in the minors in 2022.