After Mets assistant GM John Ricco said, “We’re not going to be able to replace Lucas Duda internally,” speculation has been running rampant about whom the Mets might get to replace the ailing first baseman. A report (well, a tweet) from Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the Mets have a “curiosity” about James Loney. That’s not a bad place to start.
Loney is now toiling in the minors for the Padres, but can leave if he gets a major league offer. He was released by the Rays before the season started, even though they owe him nearly $10 million for 2016. That Loney could not find a big league job was a bit of a surprise — he batted .280 last season, just off his career average of .285. He has very little power but he plays a good first base and is only 32 years old, so he probably has a few good years left in him. Oh, and all he would cost is the major league minimum; the Rays are footing the rest of the bill.
He would be a very low risk, high reward pick-up for the Mets.
Another possibility is Michael Morse, who was my first thought when Duda went down. I advocated for him a few years ago. He has never repeated his 2011 season in which he hit batted .303 and had 31 home runs and 95 RBIs, but he still has some power. He’s not a great defensive first baseman, though, and the Pirates already released him this season.
You can read about more Mets first base options in a really good write-up at MLB Trade Rumors (I found that article when I went to look up Morse’s stats at Baseball Reference. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, unlike some people, allegedly).