According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Orioles are still interested in acquiring Mets first baseman Ike Davis. Baltimore balked at the asking price earlier this offseason, but the price tag and draft pick compensation attached to other options may force their hand. Writes Sherman:
Baltimore believes it has several options, including free agents Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales. However, both of those players were made qualifying offers, which means any team – other than their last one – that signs either would lose its highest draft pick. The Orioles surrendered the 17th pick in June’s draft to sign Ubaldo Jimenez. Last July 31, Baltimore traded its competitive balance selection, No. 35 overall, to Houston for Bud Norris. Thus, the current highest pick for an organization that claims it is a draft-and-develop franchise is No. 55 overall, and that would be lost with the signing of Cruz or Morales. Plus, either player still would necessitate somewhat significant money, likely on multi-year contracts, even at this late date for free agents.
The Mets reportedly asked the Orioles for pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez in exchange for Davis last December, but Baltimore wasn’t prepared to part with what most in the industry consider their second best pitching prospect.
Along with the Orioles, it was reported yesterday that the Pirates are also keeping tabs on Davis.
The Mets have hinted that whoever doesn’t emerge as the starting first baseman between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will likely be demoted or traded.
The above fact means that the Mets don’t hold all the cards.
However, in Davis, they have a relatively inexpensive chip who is still young, has hit 30 home runs in the majors, and has shown he can be a plus defender at first base. There’s plenty of value in that.
If Baltimore or Pittsburgh is willing to give the Mets equal value for Davis, he may very well be dealt. Still, Sandy Alderson will almost certainly not be “taken” here.