The Mets are considering a reunion with free agent 1B Lucas Duda, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Duda, 31, was traded by the Mets to the Rays last July 27 in exchange for RH reliever Drew Smith. He hit .217/.322/.496 with 30 HR in 126 games last season with the Mets and Rays
For his career -- which has been spent enitrely with the Mets aside from the last two months of the 2017 season -- Duda has hit .242/.340/.457 with 138 HR in eight seasons.
The Mets are reportedly in agreement with OF/1B Jay Bruce on a three-year deal that will pay him $39 million, and have told Bruce to expect to play some first base.
They also have 22-year-old 1B Dominic Smith, who hit .198/.262/.395 in 49 games in 2017 during what was his first taste of the majors.
Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
A reunion between Lucas Duda and the Mets at this point would be puzzling, unless they are intent on trading Dominic Smith or having him spend the majority of the season with Triple-A Las Vegas.
With Jay Bruce, the Mets already have someone on the roster who is insurance for Smith if he struggles. And with them insisting they're not in a rush to trade Juan Lagares, they would conceivably have a full outfield once Michael Conforto returns -- potentially meaning Bruce plays first base more than expected. In that scenario, what happens to Duda?
And again, this assumes that Smith is either traded or in Triple-A, where he hit .330/.386/.519 last season. Smith definitely had some growing up to do, as GM Sandy Alderson reminded him, and he seems to have taken that to heart -- slimming down this offseason and facing questions about his preparation head-on.
Duda is a good player, despite a decently-sized portion of the fanbase being unable to wrap their heads around that fact, but his lack of versatility and left-handedness makes him an odd fit for the 2018 Mets.