Lucas Duda Reportedly Traded to Rays; Mets Receive RHP Prospect Drew Smith

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 27, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 24:  Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets bats against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the six inning at AT&T Park on June 24, 2017 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After eight seasons, the New York Mets reportedly have parted ways with first baseman Lucas Duda

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Mets agreed Thursday to trade Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handed pitching prospect Drew Smith.

Feinsand provided some background on Smith, who is the 30th-ranked prospect in the Rays system: 

A member of the Mets since 2010, Duda emerged as a prime trade candidate in advance of the July 31 deadline because he's on an expiring deal that is paying him $7.2 million this season. 

In his walk year, the 31-year-old is batting .246 with a .347 on-base percentage and a career-high .532 slugging percentage to go along with 17 home runs and 37 RBI. 

Thanks to that power surge, Duda has posted 1.0 offensive wins above replacement a year after he managed to barely post a positive mark (0.1). 

If there's a concern with Duda, it's that he's battled injuries over the past few seasons, including a stress fracture in his lower back that limited him to 47 games in 2016. 

However, the Rays are in a position to roll the dice on Duda and his health since he's only a half-season rental. 

As far as his role goes, Duda should immediately slot in as part of the Rays' revised platoon at designated hitter. 

Tampa Bay has been searching for a steady left-handed power bat since Colby Rasmus stepped away from the team for unspecified personal reasons, 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 aboard, the Rays could still stand to add one more bat off the bench if they want to make a strong push for the postseason since Trevor Plouffe and Brad Miller have been mired in season-long slumps. 

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

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