Dominic Smith watched the new owner’s introductory press conference and later spoke with him personally. And the vibe Smith received from Steve Cohen tells him the Mets have landed in good hands.
“For a guy like that to take over the organization, you’re pretty happy about that one,” Smith told The Post on Friday. “He’s a very impressive person, so you want to do your best to impress him as well.
“A lot of remarks he said, that makes you excited to be a part of the organization. It makes you that much more eager to get out there and help the team win. A ton of us are just more determined to getting better this offseason so we can come back next year and help this team be competitive and win.”
Cohen, a lifelong Mets fan, recently completed his $2.4 billion purchase of the club and has vowed to transform the franchise into a perennial World Series title contender. Included was a promise the Mets would spend at a level consistent with other major market teams.
Smith said he doesn’t want to speculate on how team president Sandy Alderson will utilize Cohen’s money, but said he was confident it will be spent wisely.
“What Steve can do financially, it definitely puts us in a pretty good position,” Smith said. “I am just happy he is the owner and I look forward to seeing what he’s going to do. He said he is going to make some moves, so we’ll see what happens.”
Already, Marcus Stroman has accepted the Mets’ qualifying offer for next season worth $18.9 million. Stroman’s return, after opting out from last season because of COVID-19 concerns, will provide a rotation boost for a team in need of arms.
“We missed [Stroman] this year,” Smith said. “If we had him I think our season maybe would have went a little bit differently just because of how impactful he would have been. But he’s an extremely dedicated player and obviously a big personality and to have a guy like that, it’s going to be definitely fun and he has some things to prove his own self. I know he’s out there working extremely hard and has some things to prove to the world, to himself and I can’t wait to see what he brings next year.”
The 25-year-old Smith’s season was an obvious success: He posted a .316/.377/.616 slash line with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 50 games, dividing time among left field, first base and DH. His big numbers translated into a 13th-place finish in the National League MVP voting, after beginning the season without a regular spot in the lineup.
“It just speaks to how hard I work off the field and just the time I put into this game and I am definitely excited and super happy for that,” Smith said. “I worked extremely hard for it for years and this is something that I definitely saw happening eventually and in the near future.”
On Saturday his focus will be his Baseball Generations All-Star Game, which he is hosting in San Bernadino, Calif. Smith and J.P. Crawford will serve as celebrity coaches for the event, which features top high school players in the region. J.D. Davis, Jack Flaherty, Jazz Chisholm and Harrison Bader are among the other major leaguers expected to attend.
“The main goal is just to bring positivity and hope and inspire a lot of the inner-city kids and give something back to the community and spend the day with these kids,” Smith said. “I think that is very impactful for their development and just keeping them wanting to stick with baseball, because a lot of times, especially in the city, these kids like to play basketball and football and other sports.
“To bring the game back here and show we are not much different than they are, I feel like that just kind of inspires them to want to stick with the game.”
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