can Lucas Duda be the everyday Left Fielder on a competitive team.

New York Mets

the short answer is maybe but its not ideal

i like Lucas Duda i think he is a good player and i like that he's getting a chance to play LF everyday. i also think his power bat makes up for his lack of range in the OF. i realize he's not a core player but he should be part of the 2014 Mets. to me a core player means someone that the Mets should lock up to a long term deal and hes not that. that's not to say he can't become a good role player and deserve a contract extension but he is not that right now. if what we are seeing so far from Lucas Duda in 2013 (.231/.339/.452) on pace for 30-HR. if that's the real Lucas Duda then he's an OK serviceable player.

the main reason why he should be on the 2014 Mets because he is pre-arb now and isn't arb eligible until 2015. so that means hes cheap making the league minimum (500-K a year). the Mets can use him in LF until he improves and becomes a candidate for a contract or becomes too costly. because he is cheap and a serviceable player the Mets can use the extra money to sign a star in CF and RF. but in 2014 when the Mets sign or trade for an everyday CF and RF i dont think u can play Duda everyday in LF. his splits are .244/.360/.489-VS RHP and 180 .275 .311-VS LHP so far this year (2013). his career splits are .258/.353/.460-VS RHP and 228/.294/.348-VS LHP.

which leads me to belive unless Duda shows drastic improvements VS LHP this year the Mets need to get a Right handed complement to Duda. a guy that reminds me of a right handed Lucas Duda is Scott Van Slyke of the Dodgers. he dose not show much of a split in his MLB career but he also only has 122-AB in MLB so its too small of a sample size to take into account. i would site his AAA splits but i can only find the 2013 splits and that's only 116-AB but those numbers are in thin air Albuquerque and kind of ridiculous (.397/.503/.733, 116-AB). i think Scott Van Slyke would be the perfect platoon partner for Lucas Duda. the cherry on top is Slyke is also pre arb and won't be first time arb eligible until 2016.

the Mets will have alot of money coming off the books in 2014 and the payroll will be very cheap ($55-$60 million). that's alot of money to spend if they intend to get the payroll back to $100-million. so when they are ready to spend money in 2014 though trades or just signing some free agent players they should not be looking to fill LF. they won't have to money to fill 3 OF spot with stars they will either just have to get 3 good players making decent money instead of 2 super stars making alot. Van Slyke and Duda could combine to be cheap serviceable options in LF. i don't want some good players or minor upgrades in the OF i want the Mets to spend real cash on real super stars like Jacoby Ellsbury or Robinson Cano or someone of the same ilk.

$55-$60 Million sound like alot but keep in mind if Ike Davis dose not return to what he was in the second half of 2012 they will need a new 1B. but that's not all folks what about Ruben Tejada he was hitting .209/.267/.262 and didn't exactly have a golden glove. i know the Mets have some pitchers that are not too far off but they might need to get a starter as well and those guys cost alot. the Mets pen was the 2nd worst in all of baseball last year some guys in the minors might fill some roles but they will probably need a few arms for the pen as well.

so can the Mets really afford to DFA Duda and get all those pieces? maybe but then ur looking at signing mediocre players closer to 35 then 30 years old like a Shane Victorino type in CF instead of of what the Mets should be looking for a Jacoby Ellsbury type. it really just comes down to this what would u rather have.

CF-Jacoby Ellsbury, $15-M per year

LF-Lucas Duda, $500-K per year

RF-Hunter Pence $11.5-M per year


CF-CoCo Crisp $7.5-M per year

LF-Corey Hart $8-M per year

RF-Ryan Raburn $8-M per year

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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