MINNEAPOLIS — Dominic Smith is 24, still in the process of establishing himself as a major-leaguer and having a very good season for a team which has a very good player at his primary position.
That means, especially this time of year, the question of a trade will always pop up. The Mets have indicated they don’t plan to deal any players under team control in advance of the July 31 trade deadline, but an eventual trade of Smith — considering the presence of Pete Alonso — wouldn’t surprise many of those involved.
For his part, Smith is trying to block out the noise.
“I don’t pay too much attention to stuff I can’t control,” Smith said. “I know baseball is a business at the end of the day. It’s just how the game is. I love New York. I only want to play for the Mets. This is all I know. This is home for me and my family. I love it here and I’m just trying to establish myself and just get better every day.”
Smith came off the bench in the Mets’ 14-4 win Wednesday against the Twins to go 2-for-3 with a go-ahead, pinch-hit homer and a career-high four RBIs. He is hitting .294 with a .912 OPS while being adequate in leftfield.
Consider Smith’s trade value — relative to the offseason — restored.
“Offensively, we knew he was capable of this,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “You could see the sweet swing, the plate discipline, his ability to go the other way, his ability to pull the ball. I think his ability to move around and play multiple positions and do it pretty well is the surprising part and the thing that we’re kind of proud of right now.”
The Mets traded righthander Wilmer Font to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. Font had been designated for assignment Friday.
In May, the Mets got Font from the Rays for hard-throwing righthander Neraldo Catalina, a virtual lottery ticket who signed out of the Dominican for $150,000 last year. Font (4.94 ERA) began and ended his Mets tenure poorly but had a 2.20 ERA in 16 1/3 innings from May 25-June 30.
An indication of where Alonso is at defensively: The Mets had a DH Tuesday and Wednesday and didn’t use him there either time. “He’s worked so hard, he’s doing a great job over there,” Callaway said. “The days of replacing him defensively, even at the end of games, are gone. We have total confidence in his ability to make the plays.” … Seth Lugo warmed up Wednesday for what would have been his fourth appearance in five days. That’s progress for a reliever who the Mets have hesitated to use on consecutive days. “Once you’ve done something and you get through it, you understand how you feel and you become more and more confident being able to do it,” Callaway said. “And I think that’s where he’s at. He’s still building that confidence, but when you ask him, he’s like, I’m good to go.”