The New York Mets are considering the possibility of trimming their payroll in the offseason. According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are considering trading infielder Jed Lowrie and Jeurys Familia in a package deal with the low-cost first baseman Dominic Smith. The New York Mets had acquired both players last season.
Hear Mets have limited room in budget. So team may need to move money to add significant money. (Of course they’ve made exceptions to go over on occasion in past.) Playful response from Mets higherups: “You really hear lots of voices don’t you?” (at least I think it was playful)— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 2, 2019
Jed Lowrie was limited to 9 games last season due to injury. Despite him being an All-Star player, his age and injury issues dropped the 35-year-old’s trading value. On the other hand, Jeurys Familia had a season to forget, finishing with an ERA of 5.70 and 4.88 FIP in 66 outings with a 6.3 BB/9 last season. The 30-year-old was brilliant before the previous season, closing 123 games for the Mets from 2013 to 2018.
It seems like the New York Mets’ General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen is trying to clear some of the mess he created last season. Van Wagenen in his debut season last year acquired both Jed Lowrie ($20 million, two years) and Jeurys Familia ($30 million, three years). Familia is still due $22 million through the 2021 season while they owe Jed Lowrie $ 13 million through the 2020 season. According to Spotrac, The New York Mets are $11.5 million luxury tax, and it could be one reason they are aiming for a bit of financial flexibility. While Mets haven’t made the team’s payroll public knowledge, it seems like the New York side, who are known to be frugal, are trying to cut down on their costs.
The question here is whether the New York Mets should use Dominic Smith in what's effectively a damage control procedure. Smith batted .282 and slugged .525 with 11 home runs and 25 RBI in 89 games in 2019. The 24-year-old is not due free agency till 2025. The only reason for the Mets to trade him would be because he fits better as a first baseman, which creates a problem for the Mets since National League Rookie of the Year Pete Alonso is their long-term answer at first.