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Rays acquire power-hitting Lucas Duda from Mets

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The Tampa Bay Rays continued a busy trading day on Thursday when they acquired veteran first baseman Lucas Duda from the New York Mets. In return, the Mets received minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Rays.

Duda provides another left-handed power hitter to the Rays’ lineup. He has stroked 17 home runs this season in 75 games, and has 125 home runs during his 8-year major league career, all with the Mets.

Tampa Bay is likely in a rent-a-player situation as Duda is a free agent at the end of the year. The Rays would be hard pressed to match some of the other offers he will receive over the winter.

Duda is likely to see a lot of time as the team’s designated hitter, or may swap with Logan Morrison on occasion. Corey Dickerson looks to be a full-time outfielder for the rest of the season.

Duda was quoted as saying “I was very proud to be a New York Met. And I’m going to be very proud to be a Tampa Bay Ray.”

Earlier in the day, the Rays fortified their bullpen with the acquisition of Dan Jennings from the Chicago White Sox.


Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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