The Rays and Mets completed a trade Thursday that directly involved one prospect and impacts the pending Major League debut of another.Tampa Bay sent right-handed reliever Drew Smith, their No. 30 prospect, to New York for Major League first baseman Lucas Duda, the clubs confirmed. Smith will head to Double-A
The Rays and Mets completed a trade Thursday that directly involved one prospect and impacts the pending Major League debut of another.
Tampa Bay sent right-handed reliever Drew Smith, their No. 30 prospect, to New York for Major League first baseman Lucas Duda, the clubs confirmed. Smith will head to Double-A Binghamton, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
This is the second trade involving Smith this season. He moved from the Tigers to the Rays on April 28 as the player to be named later in a deal that sent outfielder Mikie Mahtook the other way back in January. The Fort Worth, Texas, native spent most of the season in the Florida State League, where he posted a 1-2 record with 1.79 ERA and seven saves in 12 opportunities. He posted a 0.97 WHIP with 40 strikeouts and nine walks over 40 1/3 innings between Lakeland and Charlotte. The 23-year-old was promoted to Double-A Montgomery on July 18 and allowed one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings before being dealt. He also surrendered one hit a one-inning cameo for Triple-A Durham on July 3.
Taken by the Tigers in the third round out of Dallas Baptist University in 2015, Smith can hit the mid-90s with his fastball and offers a solid curveball. His control improved this season with his walk rate plummeting from 11.6 percent in 2016 to 5.2 percent this campaign. Smith also posted some nice reverse splits at Class A Advanced, holding left-handers to a .195 average compared to a .265 average against right-handers. He could be a solid middle-relief option for the Mets as he climbs the chain.
Duda heads to his second organization in his 11 seasons in pro ball, having been drafted by the Mets in the seventh round in 2007. The 31-year-old slugger is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 homers in 75 games this season and should give Tampa Bay a first base/designated hitter option to pair with Logan Morrison in the middle of the Rays lineup. The left-handed hitter is set to become a free agent this offseason.
Duda's departure opens a door for the potential promotion of Mets No. 2 prospectDominic Smith to Flushing. The 22-year-old first baseman is hitting .337/.390/.524 with 15 homers, one triple and 30 doubles in 102 games at Triple-A Las Vegas, and was recently named MLB.com's No. 41 overall prospect. New York started veteran Jay Bruce -- another potential trade target -- at first base Thursday against San Diego.
Sam Dykstra is a reporter for MiLB.com. Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @SamDykstraMiLB.