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After signing Cody Bellinger to a one-year, $17.5MM deal in the present day, the Cubs may wind up touchdown one other left-handed energy bat, with Anthony DiComo of reporting the group has had discussions with Dominic Smith on the Winter Conferences. Smith is a free agent after the Mets non-tendered him.

Smith has struggled up to now two seasons, enjoying via {a partially} torn labrum final yr and by no means obtained entering into 2022, as he battled for taking part in time with J.D. Davis and in the end discovered himself optioned to the minor leagues. He completed 2022 with a .194/.276/.284 batting line with out a single house run, good for a effectively under common 67 wRC+.

With that being stated, Smith has confirmed loads of promise over his profession, and has been the sufferer of circumstance in some regards. The 27-year-old was drafted eleventh total in 2013 and usually featured on top-100 prospect lists as he got here via the minors. He obtained a while within the majors in 2017 and 2018, however confirmed his offensive promise in 2019, when he slashed .282/.355/.525 with 11 house runs in 197 plate appearances. That additionally occurred to be the identical yr Pete Alonso burst onto the stage, and compelled Smith to spend time in left area, the place he graded out poorly defensively.

Boosted by the presence of the DH within the Nationwide League in 2020, Smith continued hitting in that pandemic-shortened season, slashing .316/.377/.616 with ten house runs. But issues tailed off in 2021 as damage sapped his energy, and Smith has by no means actually been in a position to get one other look in and the Mets opted to non-tender as a substitute of paying him a projected $4MM arbitration wage.

Whereas his 2022 numbers gained’t drive a lot curiosity, he’d make sense for groups prepared to take a flier on him rediscovering his plentiful upside. After all, one of many issues Smith confronted in New York was an absence of standard enjoying time, so whereas instances might even see him as a high-upside bench bat, he could also be extra inclined to hunt out alternatives the place he can begin, at the very least initially.

The Cubs at present have Matt Mervis and Alfonso Rivas penciled into the primary base and designated hitter slots, so there’s actually room there for them so as to add a participant like Smith. The Cubs have additionally held long-standing curiosity in him, as DiComo provides that the Cubs mentioned a commerce with the Mets this previous summer season involving Smith. The Rays and Royals have each proven curiosity in Smith earlier this low season as effectively.


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