This afternoon Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted that the Rays have some level of interest in Addison Reed and Lucas Duda.
Sounds like the Rays have some level of interest in Addison Reed and Lucas Duda.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) July 25, 2017
The interest in Addison Reed is natural. The Rays have been connected to some degree to every reliever on the market. Addison Reed is the best high leverage rental reliever thought to be available.
This season he has a 2.49 ERA and 3.14 FIP. Last season he put up a 1.97 ERA and 1.97 FIP. He has a 25.0% strikeout rate and a very low 3.1% walk rate.
Reed makes $7.75MM this year. The remainder should be somewhere around $3MM. He’s a free agent at the end of the year. He will cost something interesting, but shouldn’t take one of the elite prospects that the Rays are trying to protect.
The curious addition to the rumor is 1B Lucas Duda. The Rays have Logan Morrison entrenched at first base during and has been stellar for the Rays this year. Lucas Duda is no slouch with the bat. He’s hitting .249/.350/.543 and 131 wRC+ this year. He has a career 123 wRC+, so has been a better bat than LoMo has throughout their careers.
The Rays weakness offensively is against left handed pitching so adding another left handed bat that needs to be platooned seems curious on the surface. While getting Duda wouldn’t help their problems with left handed pitchers he would help fill the hole in lineup that was created with Colby Rasmus’s departure. Corey Dickerson’s defense allows the Rays to get a guy they can place at DH instead of LF if necessary. Duda has a hit .254/.368/.556 and put up a 138 wRC+ against right handed pitchers this year which is in line with his .254/.360/.486 and 134 wRC+ in his career.
Duda is getting paid $7.25MM this year. He will be owed around $3MM through the rest of the season. With his injury history and the lack of a market for 1B/DH types he shouldn’t add much to the acquisition cost of Reed.
The New York Mets have been on record saying they are willing to eat money to facilitate deals on rentals, so maybe they can work something out and it would improve the team.