Mets begin trade-deadline sale, send Duda to Rays

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The New York Mets have begun their restructuring ahead of Monday's trade deadline, trading Lucas Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Duda will be heading to Tampa Bay after the Mets traded him for sought-after prospect Drew Smith on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Duda, who has spent his whole career with the Mets, has hit .246 with 17 home runs this season.

He will likely be the Rays' designated hitter against right-handed pitching as the club look to secure a wildcard spot.

Tampa entered Thursday's games a half-game behind the Kansas City Royals, and 1.5 games behind the New York Yankees for the two wildcard spots.

In his 10 years with the organisation, Duda's 125 career homers put him seventh all-time among Mets players.

Smith, a right-hander, moved from High-A to Triple-A earlier this season. He has posted a 1.60 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 45 innings.

Duda is the first Mets player to be traded ahead of the non-waiver deadline, but he is not expected to be the last.

Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera are all reportedly available to be traded.