After playing eight season with the team, New York Mets have parted ways with the first baseman Lucas Duda. According to MLB’s corresponsal Mark Feinsand, on Thursday the Mets agreed to trade Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Drew Smith. The prospect is 30th-ranked in the Rays system, he has a good arm throws mid-to-upper 90s. Duda is a member of the Mets since 2010, as he emerged as a prime trade candidate in July 31 deadline because he’s on an expiring deal that pays $7.2 million this season.
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Score talking, the 31-year-old player ended up with a .246 with a .347 on-base percentage and a career high .532 slugging percentage along with 17 home runs and 37 RBI. Thanks to his power surge, he posted 1.0 offensive wins above replacement a year after he managed to barely post a positive mark (0.1). He has had problems as he has battled injuries over the past seasons, and this can be a concern from the club about him. Including a stress fracture in his lower back that limited him to 47 games in 2016.
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However, the Tampa Bay Rays are in a position to roll the dice with the player and his health since he’s only a half-season rental. Duda should slot in as part of the Rays’ revised platoon at designated hitter. The club has been searching for a left-handed power bat since Colby Rasmus left the team without a specified reason and Duda can fill that void. Considering he’s slashed .253/.367/.546 with 14 home runs and 27 RBI against right-handed pitching this season. But even with Duda, the Rays could stand to add one more off the bench if they want to make a strong push for the postseason since Plouffe and Brad Miller have been mired in season-long slumps.