Of the various rookies the Los Angeles Dodgers called on during the 2019 season, Will Smith making his MLB debut was one of the more surprising developments.
He began the year with Triple-A Oklahoma City, marking only his second stint with the top affiliate. Smith struggled over 25 games with Oklahoma City to finish the 2018 season. He quickly began to prove this year was a different case, and it culminated with a call-up.
Smith joined the Dodgers at the end of May in a corresponding move to Austin Barnes landing on the 10-day injured list due to a groin strain. By the end of the season Smith usurped Barnes as the starting catcher.
Smith’s status as a rising prospect and early success at the Major League level has led to the 24-year-old being the subject of trade interest, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports:
Potential trade partners also covet Dodgers catcher Will Smith, who impressed as a rookie in 2019, hitting 15 homers with 42 RBI in 54 games.
The Dodgers have been connected to a multitude of trade scenarios this offseason, including reported talks with the Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. They are said to be targeting Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor, respectively, in those discussions.
Meanwhile, L.A. reportedly is rebuffing teams with trade interest in Gavin Lux and instead have shopped Corey Seager to both the Indians and Red Sox.
Similar to with Lux and Dustin May, the Dodgers don’t figure to be inclined to trade Smith. He’s already proven capable of handling catching duties at the Major League level and is on track to remain the starter in 2020.
Of course, if the Dodgers did elect to trade Smith, the organization’s deep crop of prospects includes catchers Keibert Ruiz and Diego Cartaya. However, there are questions about Ruiz’s fielding behind the plate and Cartaya is multiple years from reaching the Majors.
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