The New York Mets made a move Thursday that could be the first of several moves to unload talent whose contracts are up at the end of the year, in exchange for younger players and prospects.

Lucas Duda is head to Tampa and in return they Rays are sending prospect Drew Smith.

A pending free agent who served as the Mets' starting first baseman for the past half-decade, Duda became a casualty of the Mets' disappointing season -- the first of potentially several trade chips the Mets could spin for future benefit.

The 23-year-old Smith is a reliever who was drafted in the third round by the Tigers back in 2015. DiComo says his velocity is high-90s.

Duda is a big-swinging lefty who hits about .250 and can go very deep into the stands. He smacked a career best 30 homers in 2014 and 27 more in 2015. Last year he was sidelined with injury and he's tallied 17 dingers so far this year.

With the Mets trailing by double-digits in the NL East and NL Wild Card races there isn't much hope for 2017. The time has come for the Mets to take a look at their chips - especially the ones who will become free agents this offseason - and cash them in for future players.

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