The New York Mets are cutting ties with former top prospect Dominic Smith.
MLB.com reported Friday the team non-tendered the 27-year-old outfielder/first baseman, making him a free agent.
Smith, the Mets‘ first-round pick (No. 11 overall) in the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, was rated one of the club’s top prospects before making his big-league debut in 2017. He showed promise his first few seasons, especially in the Covid-shortened 2020 campaign, when he hit .316 with 10 home runs in 50 games, earning him MVP votes.
But the slide began in 2021 (.244 batting average, 112 strikeouts in 446 at-bats) and Smith became painful to watch last season as he hit .194 in 58 games.
Smith told MLB.com earlier this year he had dealt with a lot of issues this season that he didn’t want to specify. He also realized he faced an uncertain baseball future.
“I went through a ton of things off the field this year that people don’t even know about,” Smith said. “I was never at a point where I wanted to quit … and it wasn’t even like it had to do with baseball stuff. It was just stuff not going my way in life. I just felt like things couldn’t get worse, and then they seemingly did, and it kept snowballing worse and worse. You’re trying to control everything, and you just seem like you can’t control anything.”
Smith is still young, and it seems likely someone will be willing to take a chance on the free agent market this offseason.