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Dominic Smith is heading to the minors amid a dreadful start to the 2022 season.
The New York Mets announcedprior to Tuesday’s game against the Washington Nationals that they optioned Smith to Triple-A and recalled Adonis Medina to take his spot on the roster.
Smith has a .186/.287/.256 slash line in 101 plate appearances through 39 games.
Coming into the season, Smith’s name popped up in trade rumors involving the San Diego Padres.
Per SNY’s Andy Martino, the proposal involved Smith, Eric Hosmer, Chris Paddack, potentially another player and money.
Martino later reported the deal was off because the Mets opted against it.
Addressing the rumor that he wanted to be traded, Smith told reportershe didn’t say those words but wanted a chance to play every day.
“Who wouldn’t want to play every day? That’s common sense in my opinion,” he said. “… I can’t trade myself, and I can’t put myself in the lineup. All I can do is show what I can, and that’s what I do out there on the field.”
Smith was the No. 11 pick by the Mets in the 2013 MLB draft. The 26-year-old struggled to receive regular at-bats early in his big league tenure after being called up in 2017.
He suffered a right quadriceps injury during spring training in 2018 and was called up for two games in May 2018 when Jay Bruce was placed on the paternity list.
The Mets recalled Smith from the minors one month later after releasing Adrian Gonzalez. He appeared in 26 games before being demoted again. A stress fracture in his left foot kept him out for two months during the 2019 season.
The 2020 campaign was Smith’s best. He hit .316/.377/.616 with 10 homers and 42 RBI, playing all but 10 of 60 games in the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season.
Last season, Smith appeared in a career-high 145 games. The Los Angeles native hit only .244/.304/.363 with 11 homers and 58 RBI in 493 plate appearances.
The Mets entered Tuesday with the second-best record (33-17) in the National League (Los Angeles Dodgers, 33-15). They had a 9.5-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.