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.
Recurring back issues derailed Gonzalez's 2017 season, limiting him to just 71 games and forcing him to miss the Dodgers' run to the World Series. While the ailing 35-year-old is coming off his least productive season since his rookie campaign in Texas, the Dodgers still believe he can be a viable everyday player in 2018 when healthy.
Lind bounced back after a disappointing 2016 campaign, hitting .303/.362/.513 with 14 homers in 116 games (301 plate appearances) for the Nationals last season. Still, he was owed $5 million next season and didn't have a direct avenue to everyday at-bats, so the Nationals decided to part ways with the 34-year-old. He joins a large group of first basemen available in free agency this offseason, so he could have some difficulty finding a favorable deal.
Shaw has played in five games during the fall league thus far, going 3-for-19 at the plate with three walks. Although he's dealing with a minor shoulder ailment, this shouldn't have an affect on his status for the upcoming season, barring any significant setback.
Goldschmidt vaulted the Diamondbacks to an early lead with a long ball in his first at-bat of the game in the bottom of the first inning, giving him just his third home run in the team's last 19 games. The first baseman closed September with a whimper, but the Diamondbacks will need the MVP candidate to be at his best beginning Friday, when his team will face Cy Young contender Clayton Kershaw as it kicks off its divisional series with the Dodgers.
Belt, who has a history with head injuries, missed the final two months of the season with a concussion, but he'll head into the offseason with no restrictions after being deemed symptom-free. He hit .241/.355/.469 with 18 homers in 104 games before his season was cut short due to the injury. Assuming he's able to enter next season healthy, look for him to return to a starting role for the Giants.
With an offseason to rest, Carpenter should be able to report to spring training in February at full strength. In addition to the shoulder ailment, back, finger, quad, and hip injuries impacted Carpenter at various points in 2017, but he managed to appear in 145 games and reach the 20-homer mark for the third straight season.
The Pirates have held Bell back against some left-handed pitching -- he's slashing .232/.292/.448 in 137 plate appearances against lefties -- but he needs just one homer to break the franchise rookie record of 26. After a September slump, Bell has six hits (including two home runs) in his last 18 at-bats.
Reynolds is hitting just .231 during the month of September and will make his way to the bench for the final game of the regular season. Ian Desmond will take over at first base, batting fifth.
After signing a lucrative extension this offseason, Myers took a slight step back in offensive production in 2017. He'll finish the year with a .243 average, 30 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a 27.7 strikeout rate in his 155 games played. Yangervis Solarte will slide over to first base Sunday.