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Lucas Duda signs with Royals for $3.5 million

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Duda was a career Met until he was traded to the Rays last year and signed an absurdly team-friendly deal.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Former Mets first baseman Lucas Duda finally found a home, as he and the Royals agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees $3.5 million and could hit $5 million if he hits all of his incentives. He was one of many free agents who hadn’t signed a deal by the time spring training began.

Drafted and developed by the Mets, Duda spent seven-and-a-half seasons in the big leagues with the team. He hit well above the league average in each of his full major league seasons dating back to 2011, failing to do so only once, back in an injury-marred 2016 season. In total, Duda hit .242/.340/.457 with 138 home runs and a 120 OPS+ as a Met. And the team got minor league relief pitcher Drew Smith from the Rays for him when he was traded away.

The Mets were criticized pretty frequently for bringing back too many players over the past two offseasons, but it’s tough to see how Duda on a deal like the one he signed with the Royals wouldn’t have been a better bet than Adrian Gonzalez, who signed with the team shortly after he was released by the Braves.