Tampa Bay Rays Acquire Lucas Duda from the New York Mets
By Althea Pashman
The Tampa Bay Rays have made their second trade of the day, acquiring New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda for minor league pitcher Drew Smith.
The Tampa Bay Rays are on the move again as they have traded minor league pitcher Drew Smith who came over from Detroit in the Mikie Mahtook trade for New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to mention the deal via Twitter.
In addition to making this announcement, the Rays have designated Shane Peterson in order to accommodate pitcher Dan Jennings on the 25-man roster.
With the addition of Duda, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times via Twitter tweets that Duda who is a one-position player (1B), has had limited playing time in the outfield will get the majority of at-bats as the DH and allowing Corey Dickerson more playing time in the outfield.
That’s is not all, as Topkin seems to think that either Brad Miller or Tim Beckham, who currently both occupy second base could be dealt as they have one hitter to many.
"With Duda at DH, would seem #Rays have 1 hitter too many. Wonder if they would now look to move Miller or Beckham since only ABs are at 2B"
Duda who was limited in 2016 to injuries is a strikeout, power-hitting lefty who owns a career .246/.343/.457 with 125 home runs and 378 RBIs in eight years, all with the Mets. Thus far, he has slashed .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs, 34 RBIs in 252 plate appearances over 75 games. Duda completes his Mets tenure 7th in franchise history in HR, 13th in OPS, 16th in 2B, 18th in BB.
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In 2014-2015 Duda had two breakout years, hitting .249/.350/.483 with 57 home runs, 168 RBIs in 288 games, while striking out 273 times in 985 at-bats. Duda essentially replaces the left-handed bat that Colby Rasmus had provided.
Smith, who was acquired from Detroit, began the season with Lakeland (Class A Tigers) and quickly moved up the Rays farm system ladder pitching at all three levels where he combined to go 1-2 with a 1.60 ERA in 31 games. In 45 innings he recorded 40 strikeouts, walked only nine with seven saves.
Next: Tampa Bay Rays: Trade Casey Gillaspie, Acquire Dan Jennings
According to Spotrac.com, Duda is a free agent following the season and Joel Sherman via Twitter tweets that the Rays will take on all of Duda’s remaining salary, which is $2.8 million.