The Mets and Lucas Duda have settled on a contract. And thus the Mets have avoided unpleasant arbitration hearings with any of their players.
Duda will earn $4.2 million in 2015, and “earn” is the key word here. After breaking out with 30 home runs last season, the Mets will need a repeat of that performance if they have any hope of contending.
This will really be a make or break year for Lucas Duda. Was 2014 an anomaly, or will he be that kind of slugger for years to come? Duda has to prove he can do this consistently or the Mets will have to look elsewhere for a first baseman.
For all of his potential, Domonic Smith hit just one home run in A ball last year. Granted, the Sally league is said to be a pitcher’s league, but Smith has to show more power than that if he hopes to be a major leaguer someday. Plus, he is at least two-to-three years away.
So if Duda fails, the Mets really have no one to take his place. Michael Cuddyer can always move over to first in 2016 with the hope that Brandon Nimmo will be ready.
But I digress — why am I talking about 2016 when 2015 hasn’t even started?
Last week the Mets settled with Jenrry Mejia at $2.595 million — a nice $2 million raise in his first year of arbitration. If Mejia will not be the closer after Bobby Parnell comes back, he could become too expensive for the Mets as a set-up guy. Look for the Mets to possibly trade him before the 2016 season.
There I go again, looking ahead too much. With the Mets, I guess it is easy to speculate on future moves, since their general manager refuses to make any current ones.