Mets looking into reunion with first baseman Lucas Duda
Lucas Duda played eights seasons for the Amazin’s before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017
After signing Jay Bruce to a three-year deal earlier in the week, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Mets are interested in getting back together with another ex-player. Rosenthal doesn’t specify what terms the Mets would be willing to accept to reunite with the slugger.
Last season, Duda spent most of the season in Queens before being dealt to the Rays after the Mets decided they were going to be major sellers. He was pretty good offensively, hitting 17 home runs in 75 games and having an OPS of .879. Duda wasn’t nearly as effective overall in Florida though. His OPS dropped below .800 to a paltry .729 in the 52 games he played as a member of the Rays.
At this point, as much as I’ve always liked Duda while he was here, a reunion of the two just doesn’t make sense.
By signing Jay Bruce, you’ve already given yourself a little more cushion when it comes to first base. In case Dominic Smith keeps struggling or is sent to Triple-A to start the season, Bruce would be the best power replacement for him.
Bringing in Duda would almost certainly ensure that Smith will not be on the roster on Opening Day. Duda isn’t a bench player that can give you great at bats off the bench or draw walks in key situations. No. Duda is a low average guy that will hit the crap out of the ball a few times a week and will get you some home runs, doubles to help you score runs. He needs to play frequently to have some value. Duda is essentially Todd Frazier but at first base.
Unfortunately for Duda, it has not been a hitters market by any stretch this offseason. He may not have a ton of offers, if any, for his services so far. Maybe he’s willing to settle for a one-year deal and play at first a couple of times a week. Who knows? At this point, this just doesn’t seem like a good idea overall.
Now if the Mets really don’t think Smith will pan out or have a deal to send him somewhere in exchange for more pitching depth, then the Duda deal would make more sense. At this point this is still just a rumor, but if the two sides do come together, we’d be one step closer to a full 2017 roster recreation. While that wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to this club, it wouldn’t make me feel great going into the 2018 season.