Baseball seldom sees crosstown rivals work as business partners when the trade deadline approaches, but it appears the New York Mets have a few pieces the Yankees are interested in.
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Yankees have reportedly contacted the Mets regarding first baseman Lucas Duda and reliever Addison Reed — two players who would potentially fill a few of the Yankees’ voids.
Duda, a 31-year-old lefty-hitting slugger, has been viewed as an underappreciated offensive force when healthy. In 66 games this season, Duda’s slashed .248/.355/.550 (259 plate appearances) with 16 home runs, 34 RBI and 65 strikeouts. The Yankees haven’t been blind to their inferiority at first base, as they’ve already tried 11 different players at the position since April, due to lingering foot injuries that have beset 24-year-old Greg Bird. Unless New York selects newly acquired rookie Garrett Cooper to assume starting first base duties for the remainder of the season, a deal for a slugger such as Duda or Oakland Athletics’ Yonder Alonso seems feasible.
While the Yankees’ bullpen isn’t as poor as advertised, top relievers Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman have endured some rough patches in the month of July. Reed, a 28-year-old righty, would be an upgrade to any bullpen, as he’s owned a 2.04 ERA and a 10.1 K/9 since joining the Mets midway through the 2015 season. Implementing Reed in a high-leverage role would also take some pressure off of middle-man Tyler Clippard, who’s allowed 15 runs since June 13.
It’s unlikely that the cost for Duda and/or Reed would be steep, as both players are eligible for free agency this winter. The most recent trade between the Yankees and Mets occurred in Dec. 2014, when cash considerations were sent to Queens in exchange for reliever Gonzalez German.