Now that the Indians have signed Michael Bourne, the Mets are reduced to either bringing back their current options or pick at the remains of the overly-bloated Indians OF - and it is clear that option B would be preferable the Mets and probably the Indians as well.
If you are in love with Lucas Duda, still believe he has an ,850 OPS season in him, still think he can play LF much better than RF, this post is probably not for you. If, however, you watched Duda lumber around in RF and you like the advanced fielding stats (-33 UZR/150 last year) and you believe his career .765 OPS is probably closer to his peak offensive value than his AAA numbers, than you should be thinking let's extract whatever value we can get for this guy.
It's clear to me that we can't get much, but we can probably get Drew Stubbs. So the question is should we do it.
Here's why I think we should:
1) Stubbs has very strong (maybe not elite) defensive skills - he has a career UZR/150 of 3.9 at CF. An outfield of Stubbs in CF, Niuewenhuis/Cowgill/Baxter in the corners could give the Mets a very strong defensive outfield.
2) He can mash lefthanded pitching. Even last year, where his overall numbers at the plate were abysmal, Stubbs had a .788 OPS against lefthanded pitching. Even if he does not hit very well at the plate overall he could be shifted in a platoon to hit lefties.
3) He's a good baserunner - Fangraphs rates him positvely in their baserunning metric every year, and he has stolen more than 30 bases each year.
4) He is only one year removed from having a .685 OPS and his BABIP was almost 50 points lower last year. Sure, a .685 OPS is still pretty weak, but a cheap CF with a .685 OPS and positive contributions on defense and on the base paths is a pretty decent thing to have.
Meanwhile, from the Indians perspective this deal makes a ton of sense as well. Stubbs' value drops when you push him to a corner OF, and the Indians already have three starting caliber OFs anyway. Duda is likely to out-hit Stubbs significantly, and the Indians can use Duda and Mark Reynolds alternately at 1B and DH. Their defense would not suffer any and their line-up would be upgraded.