According to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, and confirmed by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays are expected to trade for the Mets first baseman Lucas Duda.
Sources: Rays and Mets are expected to complete a deal for DH/1B Lucas Duda. Right-handed reliever Drew Smith would head back to the Mets.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2017
The trade has been officially confirmed.
It's a done deal, #Rays are getting Duda for minor league RHP Drew Smith— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 27, 2017
Lucas Duda doesn’t bring any defensive value, but when he’s been able to stay on the field he has hit. Duda is hitting .246/.347/.532, for a 127 wRC+ this season. He has hit 17 homers in 291 plate appearances.
Duda has especially crushed right handed pitchers, hitting .253/.367/.546 for a 136 wRC+. For his career he has hit 134 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.
Most likely, Duda will primarily be the designated hitter against right handed pitchers. It was Corey Dickerson’s quality defense in left field that allowed the Rays to be flexible in adding another bat, effectively replacing Colby Rasmus’s bat in the lineup. Duda will also provide insurance in case Logan Morrison is injured.
Drew Smith was the player to be named later in the deal that sent Mikie Mahtook to the Detroit Tigers this winter. Smith is a reliever with big stuff. He has a fastball that reaches the upper 90s, and was just assigned to Durham.
Smith threw 28.1 innings for Port Charlotte with a 2.20 ERA and 2.31 FIP. He struck out 24.3% of batters and walked 4.3% of batters. He has thrown 4.1 innings split between AA and AAA without allowing a run. He was added as #30 on MLB.com’s organizational prospect list for the Rays this morning after the Rays traded first-base prospect Casey Gillaspie for reliever Dan Jennings.
There’s at least another roster move yet to come.
From the Rays press release:
[Duda] will wear No. 21.
Outfielder Shane Peterson was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Duda and on the 25-man roster for left-handed pitcher Dan Jennings, who was acquired earlier today from the Chicago White Sox.
Jennings is active for tonight’s game in New York. Duda is expected to join the Rays for tomorrow’s game with a corresponding move to be announced at that time.