Duda’s More Valuable than You Realize

After one uneven season and a poor throw in the World Series, Mets fans seem ready to move on from Lucas Duda. Some see it as an avenue to keep the very popular Daniel Murphy. Others just don’t seem to like him. 

While I tend to think this is overplayed, I wanted to do a Player A and Player B comparison. I used the last two years because those are the years Duda has been an everyday first baseman. Player A and Player B are both first baseman. They are both the same age. Both players are left-handed hitters. 

Player A

2014 – .196/.300/.404, OPS+ 96, WAR 1.8

2015 – .262/.361/.562, OPS+ 146, WAR 5.2

Player B

2014 – .253/.349/.481, OPS+ 137, WAR 3.6

2015 – .255/.352/.486, OPS+ 132, WAR 3.0

Which player would you rather have?  It’s certainly debatable.  

Well, Player A is Chris Davis, who is expected to receive a free agent contract in the area of 5 years $100 million or $20 million per season. 

As you guessed, Player B is Lucas Duda, who cannot be a free agent until 2018. Lucas Duda is projected to receive $6.8 million in arbitration.  Even if you picked Player A above, would you have paid him $13.2 million more a year?  Of course not, regardless of the Mets financial situation.

I already know the following arguments:

  1. I’m omitting Davis’ 2013 season; and 
  2. Davis has hit more homeruns over the last two years. 

That’s fine. I am. However, Davis gets to play half his games in Camden Yards over Citi Field. Last year, Davis hit .285/.376/.650 at home and .241/.348/.482 on the road. Davis’ road numbers look awfully similar to Duda’s .255/.352/.486 from last year.  This just shows that Lucas Duda is a very good baseball player. Mets fans should appreciate him. He’s got enormous value. 

Move Duda to Camden Yards and maybe he’s the guy getting a $100 million contract.