February 23, 2018

Curtis Granderson doesn't want Lucas Duda to leave

29 July 2017, 12:55 | Yvette Williams

Lucas Duda has 17 home runs in 291 plate appearances in 2017

Lucas Duda has 17 home runs in 291 plate appearances in 2017

On Thursday, they sent merely a relief prospect named Drew Smith to the New York Mets in exchange for first baseman Lucas Duda, a left-handed power source who will give some more pop to the Rays' already-poppy lineup.

Classy until the end, Duda wished nothing but great things for the man who will eventually take his place, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. He now gets to join the playoff hunt with the Rays, if only he could shake Grandy off his leg.

The righty fireballer has been lights out at three levels for the Rays this season, including Triple-A, pitching to a combined 1.60 ERA across 31 appearances. NY drafted him in the seventh round in 2007.

Duda is the first Mets player to be traded ahead of the non-waiver deadline, but he isn't expected to be the last.

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The Tampa Bay Rays are making moves. Tampa entered Thursday's games a half-game behind the Royals, and 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees for the two wild-card spots.

In his walk year, the 31-year-old is batting.246 with a.347 on-base percentage and a career-high.532 slugging percentage to go along with 17 home runs and 37 RBI. He was miscast as an outfielder before finding a home at first base, though he almost was traded because of a logjam at the position.

Right-handed reliever Drew Smith is said to be heading to NY in the deal. Top prospect Amed Rosario is slated to arrive first, shortly after the trade deadline. "They're in the hunt", Duda said.

As for his role with in Tampa Bay, he will likely serve as a designated hitter.

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