Tuesday, June 27, 2017


This weekend both New York baseball teams were setting up to make big moves and have one thing in common that could set up a rare event. The Yankees and Mets are hardly frequent trade partners but on Saturday a common need quickly turned into a real trade possibility and rumors started flying. The Mets are likely to be sellers, and the Yankees have some serious issues to fix if they want to be contenders this year. The Mets may have what they need so could they really be trade partners?

Last week it sounded like Joe Girardi and Yankee ownership were on different pages. Yankee brass wanted to focus on pitching and Girardi wanted another option for first base and suddenly on Saturday Chris Carter was designated for assignment. Girardi and Yankee fans everywhere rejoiced (sorry Carter) and Tyler Austin was called up to finally get his shot.

Austin's first game up didn't go as we all had planned. His first game got the best of him and now the Yankees may be looking for some more veteran options to help out at first base. With an unproven Austin and Greg Bird still out with an unknown return date the Yankees and Mets may make a good trade match-up....enter Lucas Duda?

Now I have to admit, at first I laughed but HERE is one source talking about it and there are others out there too. I have frequently poked fun at Duda making up my own song to the tune of "Old McDonald" but the more I looked at it the more I understood why it makes sense at least on paper.

Duda may be one of the Mets most desirable pieces and the Yankees could be the best landing spot for him if other big names like Eric Hosmer on the Royals remain in playoff contention. The Yankees have a laundry list of injuries to deal with and it is now even worse now that Aaron Hicks is on the disabled list and Starlin Castro has a strained hamstring. The Yankees insist that Austin is the everyday first baseman now, but he's already had to play the outfield, the Yankees are going to have to take it easy as Jacoby Ellsbury gets back into a routine and let's face it....Greg Bird is still a giant question mark.

Photo: Getty Images
I have never been overwhelmed by Duda and the Yankees still see Bird as the first baseman of the future, but for now he can offer the Yankees something they don't have. He has the experience at first and he has hit five home runs this month and is rebounding after missing time last season  with injuries. He would also give them a legitimate power left hand bat to put between Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Matt Holliday. They’re going to need more pop if and when Hicks or Brett Gardner does hit a slump. It just gives the Yankees some more options without creating a roadblock at first base for Bird or Austin and since Duda is a free agent after the season it's an easy short term addition for the Yankees.

Photo: Getty Images
I still have all of my faith in Austin at first base right now. This weekend was just a blip, and Casey was right when he said A CAREER IS NOT DETERMINED BY 1 GAME but the Yankees are in a downward spiral and need some help. First base is a major weakness right now because offensive production at first base has been pathetic. Their .599 OPS from first base ranks 29th overall, and only the Angels (.590) are worse.

The Yankees aren't desperate but if the Mets are selling it can't hurt to look. Duda wouldn't require losing anything important. The Yankees aren't desperate yet, but if they don't do something soon things could get ugly soon.....and not just at first base.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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