The Washington Nationals are seeking MLB-ready talent.
They traded most of their stars in recent seasons and now have one of the most depleted rosters in the National League.
The current organizational approach is giving prospects a good chance to establish themselves, as well as minor leaguers with a strong body of work throughout their careers.
Following that strategy, they completed a promising signing on Tuesday afternoon.
Dom Smith to Nats. 1 year. @BNightengale 1st
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 3, 2023
Dominic Smith was a former New York Mets prospect that could never establish himself after strong 2019 and 2020 showings at the MLB level.
He had a .881 OPS in 2019 and a .993 mark in 2020.
At that moment, he looked like a keeper for the Mets even though he doesn’t really have a defensive home.
His best position is first base, but he is blocked by Joey Meneses in Washington.
Make no mistake, though: if Smith regains his form, the team will find at-bats for him at the designated hitter spot and the outfield corners.
Injuries and slumps limited him to a .667 OPS in 2021 and a .560 mark in 2022.
New York non-tendered him, and the Nats are giving him a chance.
The deal is reportedly for $2 million and includes $2 million in performance-related incentives.
After hitting just .194/.276/.284 with zero homers in 152 plate appearances over 58 games last season, Smith has a lot of work to do to prove he belongs in MLB.
The landing spot, for him, makes sense because the Nationals can give him all the playing time he can handle, provided he produces on the field, of course.