Lucas Duda will probably miss the rest of the season after the Mets shut down his rehab for 30 days. Oh, and he may have played the final game of his Mets career.
Out since late May with a stress fracture in his lower back, Sandy Alderson on Wednesday said “It doesn’t look good” when asked about Duda’s possible return this year.
As far as whether he will be back next season, that has to be up in the air. He made $6.75 million this year, and will likely get upwards of $8 million in his final year of arbitration. His presence as a possible home run threat in the middle of the lineup threat has been missed, but his actual output really has not. He’s not a very reliable hitter; he is just too streaky.
It would make more sense to train excess outfielders Jay Bruce or Michael Conforto to play first base. It should be noted that Bruce has played three games at first in his career and committed two errors, and Conforto has never played there. But they need to clear up the logjam in the outfield, and first base may be a good place to do it.
I would not tender Lucas Duda, but I doubt Sandy Alderson will go that route. My guess is that if he cannot trade him in the off-season (and he likely will not be able to because of the injury), they will tender him and hope to trade him in Spring Training. It’s similar to what Alderson did with Ike Davis, when Davis should have just been non-tendered. But I do not think Alderson likes to give away possibly tradeable assets.