Lucas Duda has cleared trade waivers, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, meaning he can be traded. The July 31 trade deadline was the non-waiver deadline, but players can still be traded if they clear revocable trade waivers, where each team has a chance to claim the player. Sherman lists Duda among the players that have cleared that the Yankees could be interested in as a late addition, but notes “the Yanks tried to land him last year, but he is not as attractive or easy a fit this year.”
The 32-year old Duda has struggled this year, hitting .236/.306/.394 with 11 home runs in 80 games. He missed over a month with plantar fasciitis, and has hit just .219 in 43 games since returning. Duda signed a one-year $3.5 million deal with the Royals and would be a free agent at the end of the year.
Duda would likely be a bench bat for any contender this year, to hit only against right-handed pitchers. The Yankees already have a left-handed hitting first baseman in Greg Bird, and Giancarlo Stanton is limited to DH duties due to injury, so he may not be a good fit in the Bronx. The Indians have been without DH Edwin Encarnacion, but he is expected to return this week. Yonder Alonso has slumped badly this month, hitting .171, but Duda may not be enough of an upgrade, and Alonso is also a left-handed hitter.
Colorado may be the best fit, as Duda could platoon with disappointing first baseman Ian Desmond. Desmond has a .945 OPS against lefties, and has been platooning with rookie Ryan McMahon, who has been underwhelming. Other National League clubs could be interested in Duda as a bench bat, which could be more valuable come October.
The return shouldn’t be much, but trading Duda would allow the Royals to get a longer look at Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn at first base, and maybe even help them find playing time for Frank Schwindel who is tearing it up at Omaha. Players must be acquired by August 31 to be eligible for the post-season, so if Duda is dealt, expect him to be moved in the next ten days.