The New York Mets have traded veteran first baseman Lucas Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor-league pitcher Drew Smith on Thursday, as first reported by Mark Feinsand of MLB.com
Duda was in the final year of his contract and likely was not going to brought back considering Dominic Smith is brewing in the minor leagues. The young first baseman is the Mets’ No. 2 prospect behind shortstop Amed Rosario and is close to making the jump to the majors.
The 31-year-old was a homegrown product of the Mets, spending his first eight MLB seasons with the team. He batted .246 with 125 home runs during that span.
Through 75 games this season, he ripped 17 dingers in 75 games.
He’ll provide a solid first base and DH option for the Rays as he’ll split time at either spot with Logan Morrison. Entering Thursday night, Tampa is 2.5 games out of first in the AL East and one game out of the Wild Card.
In return, the Mets acquired right-hand pitcher Drew Smith, who is a 23-year-old that can throw in the upper 90’s and could ideally work as a seventh or eighth-inning arm out of the bullpen.