Since the beginning of this offseason, it has been widely publicized that the Mets want to make a trade in some form or another. Many of these trade possibilities surrounding the team have involved either Lucas Duda or first baseman Ike Davis.
It seems almost necessary that the team makes a move via a trade, especially since the market for shortstops and back-end starting pitchers seems to be dwindling. It has been noted by a lot of the team beat writers and baseball analysts that the Mets seem more inclined to deal Davis rather than Duda. While it seems Davis has more upside than Duda and could possibly bring in more talent in a trade, I get this gut feeling a Davis departure may end up haunting the Mets.
To be fair, the last few seasons when Davis struggled, I was one of the many to get on his case. Every time he stepped into the batter’s box — especially in the first half — it looked like Davis was a lost cause. Seemingly every time he got up, he found himself quickly in and 0-2 count, and then would fish at a low breaking pitch, and subsequently add to his strikeout total.
It was a frustrating thing to witness day in and day out. Batting fourth in the lineup most days, you’d expect production out of the cleanup hitter, especially in RBI opportunities. From where he started with the Mets, it was insane to think that Davis would be part of the problem and not the solution.
During his rookie campaign in 2010, the Arizona native played in 147 games and looked to be the first baseman of the future. In his time with the big club, Ike had a triple slash of .264/.351/.440, good enough numbers to finish seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting. The next season, Davis had a torrid start and looked to improve upon a solid 2010. In the first month or so of the season, he drilled seven homers, drove in 25 runs and hit over .300. Sadly, an ankle injury from a collision fielding a pop-up in Colorado derailed his season.
After that injury and time on the disabled list, Ike has been one of the most tantalizing players on the Mets. Coming back from his ankle problem in 2011, Ike was on the team Opening Day of 2012, but did not look the same. He struggled, and just did not look to be the same hitter he did pre-injury. In the second half, however, he had a power surge, and ended the year with 32 homers, a team-best. His play after the All-Star break led the front office to believe he still had what it took to be a power threat in the middle of the order, and the team held on to him during the hot stove season, despite reports that teams were interested in his services.
Last year, as most Met fans know, Ike had another horrendous first half, with the powers numbers down and the strikeouts up. He went down to Triple-A Las Vegas, pounding the Pacific Coast League pitching. Coming back to the Mets, Davis didn’t seem to still have the power stroke, but had strong patience at the plate, posting a .449 OBP in the second half of the season.
After his last two seasons, it seems like many in the baseball world believe a change in scenery would benefit the first baseman, which could be very true. He has been an enigma, a player with so much talent and potential but hasn’t truly put it all together to be a consistent player.
My fear with this situation, is that the Mets deal Davis in a package trade, get some decent players in return, but Davis finally decides to get his act together and play at the level many thought he could when he first came up. Although he’s not at the level of Nolan Ryan or Jeff Reardon, I just get this feeling Davis can turn into something the Mets might regret dealing. It just seems someone always gets better after they are traded or walk away from the Mets. While I believe it is the right call to deal Davis rather than Duda because of what could potentially come back in return, I am just afraid Davis will put up strong numbers for another team.