After signaling they were willing to give Dominic Smith the first base job in 2018 for much of the offseason, the Mets are said to be considering a reunion with Lucas Duda, according to Ken Rosenthal. The Good first baseman has received at best tepid interests from teams this offseason after a down 2017 (113 wRC+ in 491 PA between the Mets and the Rays).
Duda, of course, spent the entirety of his career with the Mets before being traded for Drew Smith last season, accruing a 121 wRC+ with a solid mix of plate discipline and power to go with good first base defense. Injuries have been a problem over the last few seasons, however, as Duda has battled recurrent back issues. That should keep his price tag down, something the Mets are always be happy to hear.
Unfortunately for Smith, the Mets are at a point in their contention cycle where giving 500+ PA to a top prospect in the hopes that he figures things out really isn’t a viable option. Jay Bruce gives the team three corner outfielders—along with Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto—deserving of everyday at bats, making it likely that Bruce would eat into at least some of the time at first. Bringing in Duda would crowd the depth chart and threaten Dom’s playing time even further.
Additionally, Rosenthal says that the Mets are not particularly interested in either Mike Moustakas or Todd Frazier. Both players have warts and, more importantly, will command a more significant financial commitment than Duda, so this is not particularly surprising.