Lucas Duda is hitting .295 with an .853 OPS when he plays first base. When playing in the outfield, he is hitting .242 and has a .740 OPS.
“I’m more comfortable at first base,” Duda said, according to the Star-Ledger, which takes a closer look at the audition taking place on the team’s infield. “I had a little bit of anxiety in the outfield. But nothing’s changed. I’m still the same guy.”
Last week, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said the Mets are unlikely to pursue a first baseman this winter, since they believe they can get by with one of, or a platoon of, Duda, Ike Davis and/or Josh Satin.
Similarly, in a recent report for ESPN New York, Adam Rubin said the Mets are unlikely to non-tender Davis after the season, even though he is likely to earn $4-to-5 million in salary arbitration this winter.
“That will leave shortstop and the outfield corners as the main areas for import,” Heyman concludes.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
The team is in flux, so I have no issue with Duda essentially campaigning to be a first baseman, despite Davis sitting a few spots down from him on the bench…
Sandy Alderson should be able to cobble together a productive first baseman out of Davis, Duda, Satin and Wilmer Flores (if he’s still around). Looking at the coming market, it might actually be easier to add power at first base than the outfield, given the players rumored to be available. Also, while I like Davis, Duda, Flores and Satin individually, they can’t all be on the roster at the same time and there is a chance that one or more of these guys gets traded this winter.
Here’s the thing about these ‘rumors,’ which I think everyone needs to remember as we gear up for the hot stove season: Last year at this time, Alderson was saying on and off the record that Jason Bay would be in Spring Training and he planned to re-sign R.A. Dickey. He said these statements several times in the final days of last year. Bay was cut before the Winter Meetings and Dickey was traded a month later.
I’m not suggesting Alderson is lying or reports are inaccurate. Instead, I’m simply saying: things change. The plan today may not be the plan tomorrow and today’s statements (while true in the moment) almost always change a bit as the off season plays out.