Met contemplate move for Chris Paddack

One version of the proposed trade, as first reported by The Athletic, would have Paddack, first baseman Eric Hosmer, reliever Emilio Pagán and cash going to the Mets for Dominic Smith. Such a deal would provide the Mets with a much-needed starting pitcher, albeit one who produced a 5.07 ERA last season. The Mets would also take on the veteran Hosmer but receive money to offset part of the $60 million he’s owed over the next four seasons.

The return would be Smith, a well-liked player within the Mets clubhouse who doesn’t have an obvious path to playing time. The Mets intend to find Smith at-bats at his natural position of first base, as well as at designated hitter and in left field. But they probably won’t be able to play him every day — given their commitments to Pete Alonso, Robinson Canó, JD Davis and Mark Canha. Then again, finding at-bats for Hosmer would be difficult, as well — unless the Mets made Alonso a full-time DH, a move he has expressed no interest in making.

If the Mets don’t love the deal, they could also wait and try to acquire pitching later in the season. Although the deGrom’s right shoulder injury and Scherzer’s right hamstring tweak have the Mets concerned, general manager Billy Eppler said on Friday that he feels “really good about the depth that we have.” That depth most prominently includes Tylor Megill, David Peterson and Trevor Williams, all of whom are now candidates to make the season-opening rotation.

Paddack could provide a boost to that group, despite his lack of success in 2021. His FIP, which aims to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness within the context of things he can control, was more than a run lower than his ERA, suggesting that poor luck played into his struggles. A change of scenery and a change in teaching methods could unlock some of his potential.

But to take that chance, the Mets would have to part with Smith, who has rebounded from a down year in 2021 to enjoy significant success this spring.

“When you’re a good player like Dom, I think you’re used to having different scenarios discussed,” said Mets manager Buck Showalter, who acknowledged that he has been paying attention to the rumors. “I look at it … that it’s nice to be liked or wanted or whatever, if that’s the case. But just because you view it that way, doesn’t mean he views it that way. I might look at it differently. But bad players don’t get talked about much, right?”

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