The exodus begins.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know who Drew Smith is. He started the season as the 30th best prospect in the Rays system, which is really the only thing I know which tells me that my fears of trading these assets separately instead of bundling them like they were phone and internet services have been realized. Drew Smith for two months of Lucas Duda is quite fair, I guess.
Duda frustrated me early in his career. Six feet 13, good eye at the plate, but somehow his contact would result in nothing more than 34 hoppers to the second baseman. Back then, I thought that Ike Davis would be the first baseman today. But Davis was accepting of all the strikeouts being a part of his game when I thought he could be so much better than what he was. Duda, however, was willing to take road trips to Jupiter as a starting player just so he could face a tough lefthander to be a complete player. Strangely, that impressed me more than any of the majestic home runs that he hit. And that’s what ultimately set him apart from Ike Davis.
Now they’re both gone. Duda, like most of us, are flawed players in this land we call earth. Streaky hitter. Range of a lumberjack at first base. Can’t throw. Can’t stay healthy. But Duda lasting ten years with this organization and seven years with the Mets, while going from somebody I regularly lampooned to somebody who has shown us a lot of growth through the turmoil here and on through the fleeting good seasons and back to the turmoil is an amazing feat in and of itself. And now he finds himself in a pennant race in, of all places, St. Petersburg. Sure, the Rays might be a little worried about Duda staying healthy, but as a DH for two months, those are dice I would roll if I was Tampa. And if they get the hot streak Duda, even for a week and a half, then the A.L. East would do well to tread lightly.
Duda’s departure signals that others aren’t far behind. (Curtis Granderson might be next.) And Thursday’s 7-5 loss to San Diego signals that the Mets are doing the right thing. It may be over-simplistic to say, but I’m a simple guy so I’ll say it: No team that splits a series against the Padres can depend on last year’s math to be buyers. The Mets were thought to be World Series contenders. The Padres were thought to lose 100 games. Just days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Mets are three games ahead of San Diego. Three. And they just lost two straight to them. One because an ace can’t spot his fastball and one because they had to turn to Chris Flexen to pitch, and he got torched after giving up a home run to the first hitter he faced and three more runs in his three innings of work. Tyler Pill wasn’t much better as he gave up a three run home run to Dusty Coleman … to the opposite field … in Petco Park … to make it 7-1.
The Mets made a comeback, scoring four in the seventh inning which was capped by a Jay Bruce home run (who might also be next), but fell short in the end. The Mets now head to Seattle, which is a quaint place to take apart the rest of your baseball team. But take it apart they will. Because when one strand is unraveled, the rest of the quilt squares must come apart … at least the ones with expiring contracts.
Today’s Hate List
- Brian Goodwin
- Wilmer Difo
- Bryce Harper
- Ryan Zimmerman
- Anthony Rendon