NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees have struggled for a quite a while, but are still very much in playoff contention.
As a result, they could bring in reinforcements prior to the July 31 trade deadline.
Long considered taboo, they might even try to make a deal with the Mets.
While the Mets won’t help the Yankees in the starting pitching department, they do have a first baseman that appears to at least have the Bombers’ attention.
The Yankees reportedly sent scouts to Citi Field on Monday night and what they saw was Lucas Duda smash his 16th home run of the season and add a double during the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Duda is 6-for-16 with two homers and four RBIs over his last four games and will almost certainly be a hot commodity come the deadline as the disappointing Mets sell off pieces. Heading into their 4-2 loss in Minnesota on Monday, the Yankees had been using a revolving door at first base, mostly due to Greg Bird’s season-long ankle injury, which required surgery and will keep him out for up to two months.
Duda makes a lot of sense for the Yankees, who are 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Red Sox in the AL East and occupy the second wild-card spot, a half-game ahead of the Twins.
The question is: will the Bombers mortgage any bit of their future to make serious upgrades? Despite being in playoff contention, they have lost 21 of their last 30 games and a move or two may not warrant the cost.
The Yankees and Mets simply do not do a lot of business together, for obvious reasons. The last time they traded with each other was back in 2014, when the Bombers acquired reliever Gonzalez Germen for cash considerations. Before then? You have to go all the way back to 2004 when the Yankees sent lefty reliever Mike Stanton to Queens for lefty reliever Felix Heredia.
The last thing the Mets may want to see is Duda having fun at the expense of Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field.
Still, it would behoove the Yankees to do something at either corner infield spot. Third baseman Chase Headley has just four homers, and, short of getting at least a little excited about rookie Garrett Cooper’s three-hit effort on Monday night, the Bombers have been an absolute mess at first base.
New York is also reportedly interested in the White Sox’s Todd Frazier and the Athletics’ Yonder Alonso.
Duda, who is 31 and will be a free agent at season’s end, has 124 home runs and 375 RBIs during his eight MLB seasons, all played with the Mets.
It is believed the Yankees may also have some interest in Mets relievers Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins.