Cubs: Dominic Smith is a throw-in piece, not a real trade return

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The clock is ticking with this year’s MLB trade deadline looming on Tuesday. Any baseball fan knows the next 24+ hours will be a wild ride, especially for a team in sell-mode like the Chicago Cubs.

Fans have been disappointed with the front office’s lack of spending and the shoddy product on the field. Of course, if Jed Hoyer follows through and winds up trading guys like Ian Happ, Willson Contreras and David Robertson, it’ll almost surely get worse before it gets better.

Rumors have been running rampant for weeks, but for our purposes here, I’m going to circle back on one that involves the North Siders acquiring the first baseman Dominic Smith from the New York Mets.

Could acquiring Dominic Smith from the Mets make sense for the Cubs?

We’ve repeatedly heard the Mets and Cubs have discussed a deal that would send both Robertson and Contreras to Queens.

In the midst of a pretty underwhelming season at the plate, Smith is now on the IL.  Regardless, the Mets have been trying to shop him around, and they aren’t showing signs of stopping anytime soon. Smith has struggled over the past year, and a rebound in New York looks unlikely. Despite playing a position where offense is a staple (first base), Smith has somehow gone more than a year without hitting a home run.

Smith’s offensive woes go far beyond a lack of power, though. On the year, he is slashing .194/.276/.286, which is much well below his career slash line of .246/.308/.424. The hope is that a change in scenery would help Smith’s bat come alive again. One of his redeeming qualities is his defense, which is something that Chicago could benefit from.

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So, who knows, Smith could bounce back offensively, and combined with his defense, it could make a low-risk move well worth making. But if you think Smith factors into the meat of a return on a trade for Contreras (or especially Contreras and Robertson), you’re sorely mistaken. He’s a throw-in piece, not someone who shifts the scale when ironing out the details of a trade.