The Seattle Mariners need more power. In particular, they need more power from the right side of the plate. There aren’t a lot of positions up for grabs. But with Robinson Cano ineligible for the playoffs, Seattle will need some lefty power.
Yesterday, we talked about the possibility of trading for former Mariners OF Eric Thames. Today, we continue our search for Ryon Healy platoon partner. Today, we talk about Kansas City Royals 1B, Lucas Duda.
Duda, if you do not know, is a 32-year-old left-handed hitter who spent the first 6 seasons of his career in New York, playing for the Mets and half a season for Tampa Bay. From 2014-2017, Duda posted a 162 game average slash of .238/.338./.480 with 33 home runs and 34 doubles.
In addition to the solid bat, Duda also grades out as a solid defensive first baseman. Like most first baseman, Duda isn’t a base-running threat, but post close to league average baserunning scores.
Duda’s real skill is that he crushes right-handed pitching. His career slash of .252/.356/.487 speaks to that. As does his 120 (of 143) career home runs against righties. Even in an injury-filled start to 2018, Duda is bashing RHP to the tune of a .306/.364/.500 slash.
Duda’s ability to crush RHP makes him a natural platoon partner with Ryon Healy. Healy is a career .295/.330/.513 hitter against LHP. The duo can be a lethal duo for the Mariners down the stretch and gives the Mariners a bump in late-inning, pinch-hitting options.
Duda is playing on just a 1-year deal, earning just $3.5 million for the entire season. Acquiring him now would put the Mariners on the hook for $1.75 million. Jerry Dipoto has shied away from rental players.
However, the one time he did indulge, it was for an LHH 1B platoon player, Yonder Alonso. So what would this type of rental cost? Our proposal:
The Seattle Mariners trade Nick Wells to Kansas City for Lucas Duda.
Wells is a left-handed pitcher who has better stuff than his numbers indicate. He poses a 1.10 GB/FB rate, and averages about 8 K/9 in A ball this season. Really, for the Royals, it comes down to which obscure player in the Mariners farm system they like the most.
They cannot get a whole lot for Duda, but it makes no sense for KC to hold onto him. In summation, Lucas Duda is exactly the type of player Dipoto should be looking for. A solid player with 1 good skill who won’t cost him a damn thing.