Aug 30, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis (29) is congratulated by teammates after the game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

On The Ike Davis Situation

The calendar has turned to 2014, but the Ike Davis situation remains unsettled a mere six weeks before Mets pitchers and catchers are set to report to spring training in Port St. Lucie.

When it was first reported that the Mets preferred Lucas Duda to Ike Davis, and that Davis would be hitting the trading block, most thought a deal could be consummated before December.

When that didn’t happen, the prevailing thought was that Davis would be dealt during the Winter Meetings in Orlando.  When the Mets left Orlando with Davis still on the roster, the feeling was that the Davis situation would be resolved in a week or so.

It’s now January, and despite the fact that two teams (Milwaukee and Baltimore) are still seeking a first baseman, Davis remains in orange and blue.

A few days ago, the Pirates acquired lefty hitting first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Rangers, likely taking them out of the Ike sweepstakes.

Some viewed Pittsburgh’s move as a knock on Davis, but I think the move came about because the Pirates would rather gamble on a career minor leaguer than meet Sandy Alderson’s asking price for Davis.  That’s their prerogative, but it doesn’t mean Ike Davis doesn’t have value.

Players in their physical prime who have hit 30 home runs in the big leagues and have plus defensive potential at first base have value.  Yes, Davis has struggled mightily in the first halves in both 2012 and 2013, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lost cause.  Plenty of players bloom late, often after a change of scenery.  There’s no reason to believe that Davis, who has immense power potential, can’t carve out a solid career.

In trade talks, Sandy Alderson asked the Pirates for starting pitcher Nick Kingham, and they balked.  He’s asked the Orioles for starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and asked Milwaukee for Tyler Thornburg.  Both teams have thus far refused to meet Alderson’s asking price.

Seeking Rodriguez (who most view as Baltimore’s 2nd best pitching prospect) is aiming a tad high.  Asking for Thornburg, who most view as a back end of the rotation starter or a bullpen arm, is not aiming high.  Still, no resolution has come.

I don’t think Sandy Alderson is going to budge, nor should he.  So, what do the Mets do if February rolls around and no team has met their asking price for Davis?

One option, is to bring Davis to spring training while planning to cut him before opening day.  If the Mets went that route, they would owe Davis $600,000, instead of the close to $4 million he’d likely get through arbitration.  Cutting Davis, while saving the Mets roughly $3 million dollars, would mean that the teams who balked at Alderson’s trade requests will be able to snag Davis while giving up nothing.  I can’t see Alderson allowing that to happen.

Another option, is to attempt to deal Lucas Duda instead.  With the Mets preferring Duda (but him apparently not having interested trade suitors), a trade seems unlikely.

The third, and most likely option, is going into camp and allowing Davis a chance to win the starting job.

It’s been reported that the Mets prefer Duda because of his on base ability, and the fact that he’s steadier than Davis.  While those points can’t be argued, Davis is clearly the player who has the higher potential.

Before he injured his ankle in 2011, some were starting to view Davis as the next Mets cornerstone.  Although he had a rough 2012, he still clubbed 32 home runs.  Last year saw Davis relegated to the minors for a time, but he got on base at an incredible clip after returning (before he lost the last month due to injury).  Still just 26 years old, Davis’ potential can still be tapped.

If one of the teams who are interested in Davis gives in to Alderson’s demands, he’ll be dealt.  If not, he should be given one last shot to hack it in Queens.  If he fails, the Mets can turn to Duda.  If he succeeds, the Mets will probably be glad that no one offered enough to pry him away.


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  • craig roth

    There is a fourth option, let Flores compete with ither Davis or Duda(the one they don’t trade) for first base or at least platoon him their! When Flores hits the way we all know he can he will be the full time first baseman by may, june at the latest! Flores is not as good a fielder as Ike but neither is Duda and his offense will more than make up for it! He’s a hard worker and down the road Flores will become a better fielder just like Murphy at 2nd base! I like Satin and he’s a good hitter against leftys but he’s got no pop and will make a great super sub and pinch hitter coming off the bench!!

  • Herb G

    Good article, Danny. Nice to finally see Ike getting some of the love he deserves.
    I agree with almost everything you said. The one thing I’ll take slight issue with is that I do not think the McGuiness trade takes Pittsburgh out of the equation. McGuiness seems like a spare part to me. If you look at his splits, over the past 3 years he has been horrendous hitting against right handed pitchers, so how is he supposed to be a good platoon partner for Sanchez? Frankly, I think Sandy should be pushing Duda to Pittsburgh. He combines with Sanchez to provide a highly productive platoon. Whatever happens, I hope Sandy holds firm to his demands, selling high on Ike, as he should. I trust Alderson to get quality and not to sell Ike short. In my heart, I want to see Ike at 1B in St. Lucie when I am at ST games this March.

    Craig – Give up the idea of Flores at first base any time soon. He has played 1B in all of 18 of his 681 minor league career games, and not very well, at that. He has a much better chance of making the team as the 2B if Murphy is traded. I think he will start the year back in Las Vegas, and they will probably give him reps at first base, as well as at second.

    • BronxMets

      flores has less range then murphy

    • Rising Fire

      Why would you trade Murphy? He had 180 hits last season. Makes no sense trading a good hitter from a team that lacks hitting.

    • Herb G

      Only if you can get a better return for him. Perhaps Alderson thinks he has other viable options at 2B, and that since Murphy’s trade value is probably at an all time high, he can get top quality in return. If trading Murphy could lead to the acquisition of a very good shortstop upgrade, it might be worth it.

    • Rising Fire

      Herb, it’s highly unlikely that will be the case. Murph has become a serviceable 2b. He’s an excellent hitting one at that. What are the chances they get Hardy? I doubt it. Keep Murph and we’ll have a good 2 hitter

    • Herb G

      R F, I’m not necessarily referring to Hardy. It would be more likely that they would get a decent pitcher, who they might then flip for Lowrie, or one of Seattle’s or Arizona’s surplus young shortstops. That said, I have no problem at all retaining Murphy. He is, as you say, serviceable at 2B, although I do feel that because his range is limited, he has to play too deep, resulting in some infield hits that could be outs. He is, however, a fine hitter who is still developing his power and baserunning skills. I wouldn’t mind seeing him bat second next season. He could certainly contribute offensively to our lineup.

  • BronxMets

    This entire thing is stupid. Davis has no value Sandy is just putting this out there so nobody pays attention to the fact he hasn’t improved the team. Everyone in the media falls for it. Davis isn’t any good and neither is DUda. CUt them both start over. You are never going to egt anything for either of them. Everyone knows if Davis is batting .150 on June 1 the fans will have sandys neck…but you media guys keep falling for this.

    • Herb G

      This sounds like a Yankee fan trolling on a Mets site to me. Time will tell if this entire thing is stupid.

    • BronxMets

      that’s funny………….are you new on Mets blogs?

    • Herb G

      Glad I was able to give you a laugh.

      Nonetheless, I disagree with you that Davis has no value. Is it possible that he will not produce because he has a mental thing inhibiting him? Sure. But I believe that his performance after he returned from the minors last year, taken with what he did in the 2nd half of 2012 and his 2011 season before he collided with Wright indicate that he could be a valuable player. Perhaps a change of venue is what he needs. I’d rather see Davis manning first base for the Mets at the start of next season, but I can live with a platoon of Duda and Satin.

  • Ken Meoni

    Still would like to see Ike go. Not only did he not hit well, he also lost his power. Add to that his bone head running mistakes and fielding errors. I just don’t see anything good about him. Pitchers have figured him out and they are not making the mistakes they used to with him.
    So, if he has another year like last year, he is worth even less and then what……… him for a bag of balls or release him?

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