Smith will have to compete for the Mets' starting job at first base in spring training, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. "He didn't win it in September, let's put it that way," general manager Sandy Alderson said.

This is an odd thing to say about a cornerstone player who was just getting his feet wet in the majors at the end of last season as a 22-year-old. He hit .220/.304/.450 with six home runs and a 30.4 percent strikeout rate in 100 at-bats from Sept. 1 through Oct. 1. It is understandable that the Mets want to find at-bats for Wilmer Flores, who is coming off a year when he slashed .271/.307/.488 with 18 home runs in 362 plate appearances, but third base and second base seem like better places to try to work him in. As Puma went on to say, this could be a motivational tactic aimed at getting Smith to show up to camp in great shape. He is still the clear leading candidate to open the year as the Mets' starting first baseman, but we now know that he is not a lock to open the year in that role.

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