Davis, 26, made $3.1 million this season and is eligible for salary arbitration which would likely result in a raise. If the Mets opt to not offer Davis arbitration, he would become a free agent and the team would lose him for nothing. Writes Rubin:
Obviously, something has to give with Lucas Duda and Davis both first basemen, so the Mets could end up trading Davis if the right deal presents itself. Still, team insiders appear satisfied that Davis will not be cost prohibitive in 2014 in a way that would force them to cut him loose.
With a large amount of money coming off the books after the season, giving Davis a slight raise through arbitration (even if the club feels he’s undeserving) seems logical.
Ike Davis, like Lucas Duda, has become a polarizing figure. While Davis has immense power potential and the ability to play plus defense at first base, the club is rightly concerned about his inability to remain consistent over a full season. What should also be concerning, is the fact that Davis has at times taken his offensive struggles into the field over the last few seasons.
The current options at first base are Davis, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, and perhaps Josh Satin. While Davis may not be deserving of a raise in 2014 (he was dreadful before being sent to the minors, but got on base at a tremendous clip upon his return), hanging on to him is a gamble the Mets need to take.
Non-tendering Davis, and losing him for nothing, really shouldn’t be an option. If/when the Mets retain Davis, they can then go about deciding what to do with him. If there’s a team out there that wants to give up something of value in exchange for Davis, they could go in that direction. Or, they could platoon him with a player such as Wilmer Flores.
During an appearance last week on WFAN, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson noted that he was disappointed with the lack of power Davis displayed once returning from the minors. Alderson intimated that Davis may have been sacrificing power in an effort to get on base more – something that won’t fly in the long-term.
If Davis is the first baseman with the Mets in 2014 and beyond, it’ll be because he’s rediscovered his power stroke. That may or may not happen, but the Mets should at least find out before cutting Davis loose.