It's time for the Mets to try to trade Lucas Duda
The major league baseball trade deadline is just over a month away and the New York Mets certainly look like they will be sellers this season instead of buyers.
That's no surprise.
New York is gearing towards 2014 as Mets fans know. At the present time, manager Terry Collins' club is out of the wild-card race. Now is the time to deal some veteran players and gain some prospects in return.
It's the right thing to do. The Mets are finally pointed in the right direction. They have a wealth of talented young pitchers in their system. It's time to add some more depth to their minor league system by trading the following players while their trade value is still pretty good.
Let's take a look at three players New York should try to deal by the July 31 trade deadline to get some decent prospects in return.
The left-handed slugger is currently on the disabled list with a left intercostal sprain. There is no question that the USC product has enormous power but it's time for the Mets to see what they can get for him once he returns and shows that he's healthy.
Hopefully that will be before the trade deadline. Duda has belted 11 home runs this season (not bad) but he does not drive in runs consistently (just 23 RBI) and he is hitting a meager .235 in 68 games this season.
Heaven knows he is a huge defensive liability in left field and first base so it's time for New York to deal him. The 27-year-old seems best suited for a DH role in the American League and another club may be enamored with his power potential.
The Mets gave him a good shot but Eric Young Jr. has performed very well in left field and Ike Davis is expected to be on his way back from Triple-A Las Vegas very soon to once again anchor first base.
A change of scenery may be the panacea for Duda as well. He is still in the prime years of his career and should land GM Sandy Alderson a fine minor league prospect in a trade scenario.
It's time to try.
Brandon Lyon is the type of relief pitcher that teams in the pennant race look for at the trading deadline—a savvy, dependable veteran pitcher who has saved games before and is a solid setup man.
So why would the Mets trade him? Well, the 12-year veteran is going to be 34 years old in August and his trade value is pretty high right now. His 2013 ledger is not bad—a 3.16 ERA, 2-2 record and 1.37 WHIP.
Relief pitching can be very hard to predict from season to season. New York should dangle Lyon for a trade and look for a prospect in return. He has 79 career saves so Lyon can also close out a game if needed.
With all the injuries the Braves have had in their bullpen this year, perhaps the Mets can find a trading partner with Atlanta. The Braves have a solid farm system and should be able to send New York a decent prospect in return. Lyon is signed to a one-year contract so the Braves would not have to commit to him beyond this season.
Veteran right-hander David Aardsma, who owns a 1.13 ERA in eight games with the Mets, can step in and fill Lyon's role capably. Aardsma saved 38 games for the Mariners in 2009, so he has been a solid closer in the past as well.
The Mets are gearing towards 2014 and beyond so Lyon is expendable.
At the right price, of course.
The Mets know their future behind the plate is Travis d'Arnaud and not John Buck. As well as Buck has played overall this season, he is not the Mets' future behind the plate.
The 32-year-old (soon to be 33-year-old) backstop enjoyed one of the best April's in team history by pounding nine HR and knocking in 25 runs—one RBI shy of Jeff Kent's record for RBI in the month of April (26, 1994).
Since that dazzling month, it has been a real struggle for the Kemmerer, WY native. Buck hit just .212 in May and has been even worse in June. His June line looks pretty ugly—no home runs, one RBI and a bleak .167 batting average in 66 AB. Buck has fanned 20 times this month and earned the "Golden Sombrero" by striking out four times in four at-bats against the White Sox on Wednesday night.
With all that being said, Buck still has good trade value to a team in the playoff chase. He has excellent power for a catcher (12 HR this season) and is regarded as a fine defensive backstop. He has handled New York's pitching staff very well this season and is a stable, veteran presence.
d'Arnaud will hopefully be making his MLB debut later this summer. Until he's ready, Anthony Recker can handle the main catching duties if Buck is traded. The Mets would miss Buck's leadership and savvy if he is dealt but they could land a solid prospect in return.
Moving forward, Buck simply doesn't fit into New York's plans. It's time to seek out a trade that would benefit the Mets and their trading partner.