Reese Kaplan -- Lucas Duda to Yankees for Whom?


To many people the trading of Lucas Duda is a foregone conclusion.  Most speculate that the best fit is with the Yankees, and although the two clubs rarely exchange high quality players, there is precedent.  The Mets once sent Robin Ventura to the New York Yankees for the ex Mr. Halle Berry, David Justice.  (The Mets then flipped him to the Oakland A’s for reliever Mark Guthrie and starter turned reliever Tyler Yates). 

The reluctance to do major deals with one another is understood.  The back pages of the tabloids would be merciless had one club gotten fleeced in just such a deal.  To look back on that last big one, it turned out to be a pretty fair split.  Ventura had one final good year with the Yankees, launching 27 HRs and driving in 93 with the short right field porch, while Guthrie appeared in 68 games for the Mets and finished with a 2.44 ERA.  While Yates didn’t amount to much of anything, that’s pretty even.  The losers of the deal appear to be on the left coast where Justice finished his career with an 11 HR season. 

So the question becomes what would be an equitable price for Lucas Duda if both Brian Cashman and Sandy Alderson man up and decide to consummate such a trade?  Let’s take a look at some of the more appealing Yankee prospects and see who might be a good fit for the Mets.  I’ve left out the rookies currently on the big league roster as it’s generally less risky to trade a prospect than someone who’s already ascended to the majors:

21 year old right hander Albert Abreu is doing well a bit lower down in the minors in A ball.  His control is a little suspect but despite walking 4.3 per 9 IP he has held the opposition down fairly well.  In 254 IP he’s only yielded 191 hits and is said to have touched 100 MPH on the radar gun.  His record is an unimpressive 9-16, but that comes with a 3.26 ERA and 9.2 KS per game. 

Flamethrower Domingo Acevedo has already registered 103 MPH on the radar gun, but his power is not always translating into pitching success.  As you would suspect, he strikes a lot of people out – nearly 10 per 9 IP, but what’s surprising is he has good control, too.  He’s working now as a starter but there’s talk of converting him into full time reliever a’la Aroldis Chapman to allow him to take advantage of his big arm.  He’s bounced a bit up and down in the minors but sports a 13-12 record with a 2.72 ERA for his professional career.

Chance Adams would be a tremendous acquisition as he’s had a stellar minor league ascent.  His overall record is 26-4 (not a typo!) with a 2.09 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and 10 Ks per 9 IP.  The 22 year old is in AA right now.  I’d certainly do Duda for Adams even up though I doubt the Yankees would. 

Haitian centerfielder Estevan Florial would be another interesting acquisition.  He’s only 19 but has been with the Yankees since signing as an international free agent at age 17.  He’s got both power and speed, thus far delivering 25 HRs, 117 RBIs and 38 SBs over 750 minor league ABs with a .280 AVG.  His average this year is .305 with 10 HRs, 34 RBIs and 13 SBs in just 262 ABs.  The big red flag on him is strikeouts as he’s already racked up 92 of them this season and 238 for his career.  Whether or not he can develop better strike zone recognition is anyone’s guess, but his potential to be an offensive force is there. 

Everyone knows the sad fate of outfielder Dustin Fowler – out for the season with a patellar tendon injury before even making his first big league at-bat.  The reason the 22 year old got promoted was for his offensive contributions.  In Scranton/Wilkes Barre this year he was hitting .293 with 13 home runs, 43 RBIs and 13 SBs in 297 ABs.  Double those numbers to extrapolate for a full season and he’d surely catch everyone’s attention.  Considering he’d only hit .281/12/88/25 over his AA season in 2016, it’s impressive that he improved against theoretically better pitching in AAA.  How he’ll recover from that injury and how it affects his running is anyone’s guess, so he’d be a major gamble even if he was a PTBNL as he’s currently on the 60-day DL. 

One player rumored to be on the block is Jorge Mateo.  Originally a shortstop, the Yankees are now experimenting with him at both 2B and CF as his path to the majors has a glut of infielders ahead of him.  The name of his game is speed – and not just that he’s quick.  He hit 11 triples and stole 82 bases in 2015.  However, there’s a blemish on his record – an unknown suspension for violation of a team policy that kept him out of the Futures Game.  The Mets may be a little hesitant about someone with character issues considering some of the off-the-field stuff they’ve experience with their own players, but if he can catch on as a centerfielder then he might be an interesting acquisition. 

Sally League All Star centerfielder Blake Rutherford broke in with a bang out of high school, hitting a combined .351 before a hamstring injury ended his 2016 season.  He moved up to full season A ball and is currently hitting .267 with 1 HR and 21 RBIs and 9 SBs.  The scouts say he has both plus power and plus speed with the skills to play CF.  He was the Yankees’ number on draft pick last year and at just 20 years of age he’s got quite a bit of time to adjust to professional ball.

Southpaw Justus Sheffield is doing well for the Yankees and appears to be on the fast track to the majors.  He’s said to have three above average pitches and currently holds a minor league record of 29-16, 3.28 ERA, 1.339 WHIP and 9.3 Ks per 9 IP.  Given that the current rotation only features Steve Matz from the left side and Thomas Szapucki still down in A ball, a guy who’s already in AA at age 21 might pique the Mets’ curiosity.  


Thomas Brennan said...

It will be tough. Crosstown rivals do not like to have their mistake staring them right in the face. So I'm not so sure that the Yankees would want to trade too much for Duda. But time will tell.

Zozo said...

I say you throw in Reed/Cabrera or Walker with Duda and get the best prospect you can. I will gladly take one of Sheffield, Adams and Especially Rutherford. Rutherford was my pick that I wanted the Mets to take last year but we were robbed, I believe by the pick before ours?

Mack Ade said...

I love Sheffield and Rutherford, though I wish we could get someone that would be 2018 ready

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, let's hope Duda's presumed 2018 replacement Dom Smith is ready...and by "ready" I mean 500 at bats, 30 doubles, 15 homers .270 ready, not .225 "ready".

Reese Kaplan said...

I definitely ready as a manager willing to give him 500+ at bats ie not Terry Collins

Thomas Brennan said...

Reese, now that the odds of making the playoffs moved from possible last Saturday to infinitesimal today, it is time to move Duda quickly and get Smith up here.

If we cannot get real value for Bruce, I'd keep him, so that if Smith is not 100% ready on opening day 2018 to function as an effective starting MLB 1B, Bruce can swing over there. Of course, it depends on how much he'd settle for as a free agent.

How about Duda for Daniel Murphy? I wanted Murphy re-signed, put at 1B, and Duda traded after 2015. Too late to make that deal (I think so)

Zozo said...

One thing our team should do is DEFINITELY DEFINITELY DEFINITELY include money on all our trades of veterans. They should treat this like a way to make up for not going over for years on the international market spending limit. Which everyone of us on Macks Mets wish they had did.
So let's say they pay $3 million (or 50%) of each outgoing veteran contract in every trade before the deadline. They can look at it as paying that $3 mil for acquiring a prospect that isn't 16 but closer to 20 years of age. That way it wouldnt be as much of a crap shoot when investing this money. So if they traded
That would constitute roughly $18 million invested in 6 top flight prospects that will surely pay off in the long run.

So trade Reed, Duda and $6 mil for Rutherford and Sheffield
Trade Familigia, Cabrera and $6 mil to Red Sox for top 3rd base prospect and a pitcher
Trade Bruce and $3 mil to Brewers for Lewis Brinson
Trade Walker and $3 mil for a prospect to either Dodgers, Colorado or Diamondbacks

For years our team didn't want to go over the international spending rule while other smarter teams did just that. They fortified there minor leagues with more top notch guys then we did. So since Alderson wouldn't be breaking the rules by doing it this way, maybe he would be more so inclined on investing money he should have done in the past.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm with you. I had advocated including money on all of the deals for the veterans because you have to pay them in your current budget anyway and it helps cement a better level of prospect in return. In a way it circumvents the spending they did not do so as to stay within the limits on international players.

Thomas Brennan said...

Zozo, that general concept makes sense.

Do you really think they'd trade Familia? No Reed and Familia sounds like a 2018 formula for disaster. I think we need to keep Jeurys.

Zozo said...

I would trade him right now if he come back healthy enough. Put Wheeler as a closer part time closer with Gsellman the rest of this year. Cut down on Wheelers innings limit and also to see if Gsellman can handle the back end for next year.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi Zozo, we would still need a legit closer for 2018. If we have a viable closer I can get on board.

Mack's Mets © 2012