Dominic Smith, Nationals agree to 1-year contract

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Outfielder and first baseman Dominic Smith agreed to a one-year contract with the Washington Nationals pending the successful completion of a physical exam, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

The 27-year-old Smith had a career-worst batting average of .194 with zero homers and 17 RBIs in 58 games with the New York Mets last season while earning a salary of $3.95 million. He was demoted to Triple-A Syracuse on May 31, when he was hitting .186 through 101 plate appearances, then returned to the majors after a three-week stint in the minors.

Smith hit well during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, putting up a career-high average of .316 and a .993 OPS, but struggled at the plate since then.

The 2013 first-round pick in the amateur draft out of high school made his major league debut for the Mets four years later. Over six major league seasons, all with New York, he has a .246 batting average and a .733 OPS, with 46 homers and 179 RBIs.

Smith was among dozens of players who became free agents in November when they were let go by their former teams ahead of baseball’s tender deadline. Otherwise, Smith would have been eligible for salary arbitration for 2023.

Smith offers help at two positions of need for the Nationals, whose 55-107 record was the worst in baseball last season.

Among the other players Washington general manager Mike Rizzo has added this offseason are another former member of the Mets, pitcher Trevor Williams, and infielder Jeimer Candelario.

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