The Kansas City Royals signed former New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda to a one-year, $3.5 Million contract.
Lucas Duda hit .217/.322/.496 with 30 home runs and 64 RBI last year between the New York Mets and Tampa Bay Rays. Duda had an odd season, with a 129 OPS+ in 291 plate appearances with the New York Mets, but had some less than stellar performances in Tampa Bay with a 96 OPS+ in 200 plate appearances with the Rays.
The Kansas City Royals are coming off of losing their franchise player in Eric Hosmer and were in search of a cheap replacement at first base. The Royals are not expecting to compete in 2018 after losing Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and likely Alcides Escobar and Mike Moustakas (both have yet to sign with a team).
Interestingly, Lucas Duda played a big part in Kansas City Royals history before he ever put on a Royals uniform. Allow me to enlighten those of you who do not remember.
With the New York Mets leading, 2-1 in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, the Royals had Eric Hosmer on third with one out. Salvador Perez hit a slow roller that third baseman David Wright fielded. Wright took a quick glance at Eric Hosmer to look him back, but the Royals’ first baseman broke for the plate when Wright side-armed a throw to Lucas Duda at first for the second out of the inning.
Duda, seeing that Hosmer was breaking for home to tie the game, naturally, threw home, Duda’s throw sailed way over the head of catcher Travis d’Arnaud, and Hosmer slid in head first to score the tying run. The Royals won the 12 inning rubber match that followed, and the World Series.
Duda will now join the team that reigned victorious over him in the 2015 World Series in this upcoming 2018 season.
Lucas Duda has been a very consistent hitter and an above fielder throughout his entire MLB career and if he performs the way he did with the Mets with the Royals, Kansas City will be getting a bargain. While they will not be able to compete in 2018, Duda will likely help revenue and be a bright spot on a weak Royals team.
Who knows, maybe they will even hook Duda up with a 2015 World Series ring.