The Nationals and first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith are in agreement on a one-year deal, pending a physical. He will make a $2MM salary with a further $2MM available in performance bonuses.
Smith, 28 in June, is a former first round pick, having been selected by the Mets 11th overall in 2013. He went on to earn high praise from prospect evaluators, with Baseball America ranking him one of the top 100 prospects in the game in 2014, 2016 and 2017. He struggled in his first tastes of the majors in 2017 and 2018 but seemed to finally click in 2019. He hit 11 home runs in 89 games and produced a batting line of .282/.355/.525. That production was 34 percent better than league average, as evidenced by his 134 wRC+.
The problem was that 2019 was also the rookie breakout of Pete Alonso, who launched 53 home runs and cemented himself as the first baseman in Queens. That forced Smith to move off first and spend more time in left field, where he’s been ranked as a poor defender. He continued hitting in the shortened 2020 season though, launching 10 home runs in just 50 games and finishing with a line of .316/.377/.616, wRC+ of 166.