The Mets’ impending sell-off has arrived, with Lucas Duda the first player to be traded away.
The Mets sent the power-hitting first baseman on Thursday to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for righthanded relief prospect Drew Smith.
“I was very proud to be a New York Met,” Duda told reporters before Thursday’s game in San Diego. “And I’m going to be very proud to be a Tampa Bay Ray.”
Duda said he hopes Dom Smith, one of the Mets’ top prospects who is expected to be the team’s long-term answer at first base, becomes a 10-time All-Star.
Duda will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. The 32-year-old slugger has hit .236 with a .357 on-base percentage, 17 home runs and 37 RBIs in 75 games this season and owns a career .246/.343/.457 slash line with 125 home runs in eight seasons with the Mets.
Smith, the Rays’ 30th-best prospect. according to MLB.com, was originally drafted by the Tigers in the third round of the 2015 MLB draft. The 23-year-old was traded to the Rays in January as the player to be named in a deal for outfielder Mikie Mahtook. He has pitched in 31 games with a 1.60 ERA in 2017 between four different levels in the Rays’ organization.
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