MLB News

MLB rumors: Dom Smith stays in Mets’ division with Nationals deal; Twins eyeing Michael Wacha

MLB rumors: Dom Smith stays in Mets' division with Nationals deal; Twins eyeing Michael Wacha

The Major League Baseball offseason slogs along as it is now Jan. 3. We have a Hall of Fame announcement coming later this month (we covered A-Rod today, for those interested). The Carlos Correa situation remains in limbo. Rafael Devers and the Red Sox avoided arbitration, though it ultimately doesn’t move the needle much on extension talks

As for the rest, let’s round up the rumors for the day. 

Nationals add former divisional foe

The Nationals have signed former Mets first baseman Dom Smith to a one-year, $2 million deal, reports Robert Murray. Smith is now 27 and was once a top-100 (as high as 51st, depending on where you looked) prospect, but his stock has seen better days.

In 197 plate appearances in 2019, Smith hit .282/.355/.525 (132 OPS+) and then slashed .316/.377/.616 (168 OPS+) in 199 PAs in 2020. It looked like he was establishing himself as a very good big-league hitter. clubbing 21 home runs with 31 doubles and 67 RBI to what amounted to around 2/3 of a full big-league season of plate appearances. In the past two seasons combined, however, Smith hit .233/.298/.345 (78 OPS+) with just 11 home runs in a much-higher sample of 645 plate appearances. 

In the Nationals’ situation, it’s worth a shot. He’s not old and has shown he can hit MLB pitching in spurts. They didn’t really have a first baseman for 2023, either. They now look to have the likes of Smith, Jeimer Candelario, Keibert Ruiz and Joey Meneses through the 3-6 spots of the lineup in some order. 

Twins connected to Wacha

The Twins have “expressed interest” in free agent starting pitcher Michael Wacha, according to The Athletic.

Wacha struggled in 2019 and, frankly, was terrible in 2020 and 2021. Last year with the Red Sox, though, he went 11-2 with a 3.32 ERA (127 ERA+), 1.12 WHIP and 104 strikeouts against 31 walks in 127 1/3 innings. He even threw his first complete game since 2017 with his second career shutout. 

The Twins’ current rotation includes Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda and Bailey Ober. It would make since to give Wacha a shot toward the back of a rotation like this. 

Orioles make minor deal

The Orioles have traded for first baseman/outfielder Ryan O’Hearn with cash considerations going back to the Royals, reports MASN Sports

O’Hearn, 29, has hit .219/.293/.390 (83 OPS+) with -2.8 career WAR across five seasons, all with the Royals. He’s only played the corner…

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