The Yankees have reached out to their New York City rivals to express interest in first baseman Lucas Duda and reliever Addison Reed, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (via Twitter). We’ve heard plenty of chatter about this possible connect, particularly with regards to Duda, it’s notable that the sides are now in conversation.
Both Mets veterans are pending free agents who figure to be available at the trade deadline this summer. With the Yankees still firmly in the postseason hunt in the American League, and the Mets all but buried in the N.L., it’s easy to see the reason for the contact. Still, it’s always notable when these two clubs look to line up, given how rarely they do business with one another.
Duda seems an entirely sensible rental piece for the Yanks, who are also looking at other alternatives to address the team’s needs at first base. He remains an underappreciated offensive force; setting aside his injury-shortened 2016 season, Duda has consistently been over thirty percent better than the league-average hitter (by measure of wRC+) since the start of 2014.
And though Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances represent a fearsome late-inning duo, Reed would upgrade any bullpen. He’s likely to draw much wider interest than Duda, who is limited to playing first base (or functioning as a DH). Reed, 28, owns a 2.04 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 since coming to New York late in 2015 as a reclamation project.
It seems all but inevitable that the Mets will be looking to move both players, who are earning reasonable but hardly bargaining salaries ($7.25MM for Duda, $7.75MM for Reed). The Mets may well put an emphasis on adding pieces that can contribute to the team in the relatively near future, given the organization’s stated inclination to attempt to rebound right back into contention next year. With several holes opening around the roster, GM Sandy Alderson could see merit in that approach, or he could seek to build up the team’s prospect war chest by pursuing higher-upside younger talent.