On Thursday, July 28, the New York Mets sent first baseman Lucas Duda to the Rays for right-handed pitching prospect Drew Smith.
Lucas Duda is basically a boom-or-bust hitter who has a lot of power but makes very little contact otherwise. His slashline of .246/.347/.532 shows that he doesn’t get on-base well but can mash the ball. He does have 17 home runs and 21 doubles in 75 games this season for the Mets and will give the Rays a boost to their lineup. His left-handed bat will work well in their lineup because it gives them a nice balance between left-handed and right-handed hitters. It is also best that he won’t have to play first base on a regular basis now with the Rays already having Logan Morrison at the position. Instead, Duda will be able fit in as their designated hitter and could be on the strong side of a platoon.
In return for Duda, the Mets received Drew Smith, a 23 year old pitching prospect currently in AAA. He started this year out in High A in the Tigers’ organization and has moved up through the levels after being traded to the Rays. He has only thrown 45.0 innings this season, with only 4.2 coming above the High A level. He has pitched very well since his promotion to the upper levels and hasn’t allowed an earned from at either level. In fact, he has just a 1.60 ERA in total this season out of the bullpen. Smith isn’t a highly ranked prospect but for the Mets to get anything for Duda is a victory. The Mets need a lot of help in their farm system and Smith could be a good arm that may even see time in the majors this season.