Davey Martinez has talked since the 2022 season was winding down about the club needing pitching depth and a bat or two on the roster, coming off a dreadful, 55-107 finish to his fifth year on the bench in the nation’s capital.
Washington’s manager talked about the club’s plans for the offseason again when he spoke with reporters at the 2022 Winter Meetings in early December in San Diego, CA, before the Nationals signed pitcher Trevor Williams but after they’d added Jeimer Candelario, a switch-hitter with power potential at third base, and taken flyers on outfielder Stone Garrett and a bunch of others this offseason.
Would another bat, he was asked, most likely fit in the Nationals’ outfield, and likely in left, with Victor Robles and Lane Thomas likely to play a lot of center and right, respectively?
“I think we have enough moving parts we could do different things,” Martinez explained.
On the Nationals and Dominic Smith: https://t.co/OfGlg8v5eW— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) January 3, 2023
“I’d like a guy that could be versatile, if possible. So we’ll see. We’re kind of weighing all the options of what we want to do, whether it’s an outfielder or we could platoon with — one could be Stone Garrett that we got from Arizona — that we kind of like the way he swings the bat. Or it could be an infielder that we find out there that we can get.”
Joey Meneses, he said, would ideally play first base and DH on days he didn’t play the field, so a left-handed bat to platoon with Meneses (a right-handed batter, obviously) at first and play left field?
“If we could find someone who could possibly play first base and play some left field, that would be great,” he said.
Dominic “Dom” Smith, who reportedly signed a one-year deal in D.C. on Tuesday, after he was drafted by New York’s Mets in the 1st Round (11th) overall in 2013, and worked his way up to the majors by 2017, has split his time in NY’s lineup pretty evenly between first base (187 games played) and left field (182) in his career, (with Pete Alonso at first base pushing him to the outfield).
Nationals are signing OF/1B Dominic Smith to a 1-year, $2 million deal, plus incentives, source confirms. Was non-tendered by Mets in November after rough year, but could wind up as Nats’ starting LF (or DH or just be left-handed part of a platoon). @BNightengale reported first.— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) January 3, 2023
Smith has struggled at the plate in the majors, with a .294/.361/.429 line in 679 games and 2,895 in his minor league career, but just a .246/.308/.424 line in 443 games and 1,373 PAs in the big leagues.
Smith, who earned $3.95M in 2022, and was projected to get a raise to around $4M for the 2023 campaign, was DFA’d by the Mets in November, and now he joins their divisional rival in Washington, D.C. What do you make of the Nationals’ latest addition? Where do you think Smith fits in the Nats’ lineup?
Smith’s deal with the Nationals is reportedly for a guaranteed $2M, with, according to a report by Washington Post writer Andrew Golden, another potential $2M in incentives.
Do you like the signing? Still hoping there’s another left fielder coming to D.C.?
Will Smith play predominantly at first base (as USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reported), with Meneses in left?