Duda will likely get left-handed at-bats as the Rays’ designated hitter, giving Corey Dickerson more time in the outfield in place Colby Rasmus, who stepped away from baseball earlier this month. He will also see time at first base in place of Logan Morrison, giving Tampa Bay additional options at multiple spots.
New York has been aggressively looking to move Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera and Addison Reed before Monday’s deadline, opening up spots for top prospects Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario in the majors. Duda has been commonly linked to the Yankees so far this trade season, though New York may be done with infield additions after acquiring Todd Frazier.
Duda, a free agent at the end of the year, owns a .246/.347/.532 line with 17 homers in 75 games with New York so far this season. He has spent his entire career with the Mets, originally being drafted by the organization in 2007.
Smith, 23, was sent to the Rays from the Tigers in April as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Mikie Mahtook to Detroit. Smith has appeared at four levels this year, appearing most prominently at Hi-A Charlotte and working to a 1.60 ERA and 8.0 K/9 in 45 innings.
Smith was ranked as Tampa Bay’s no. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He is the second Rays prospect to be dealt today, joining first baseman Casey Gillaspie, who was dealt to the White Sox for Dan Jennings.
Duda is the fourth trade addition of the last month for Tampa Bay, as they have also added shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and relievers Jennings and Sergio Romo.