What Are the Chances Ike Davis Gets Traded This Winter?

By Matt Musico

While the 2012 season was winding down for the Mets, a “baseball source” broke news that New York would be open to trading their first baseman, Ike Davis, for reasons that may or may not be true. Although it should be clear that the front office has deemed that no one will be safe (within reason) during this impending roster turnover, it’s hard to fathom the biggest power threat the Mets have (32 HR, 90 RBI in ’12) would be traded away.

Sandy Alderson made his way up to the booth during an SNY Mets broadcast in the last week of the season and said for the organization to trade away someone lIke Davis, they would have to be assured they would be able to get that same production from another player, whether it be one already in the Orange and Blue, or one they acquire via trade or free agency. That statement alone leads me to believe Davis won’t be going anywhere, and special assistant to the GM, J.P. Ricciardi, solidified what I was already thinking.

Sept 16, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis (29) during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Ricciardi is expected to return to the New York front office for 2013; he has a desire to be a GM again, but hasn’t gotten any calls from other organizations, and is prepared to contribute to the Mets in the same position next season. While he was discussing his job status with Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, he also mentioned he would be shocked if we saw Davis get dealt this winter. After an incredibly rough start to the season, the Mets first baseman finished the year with a .227/.308/.462 line, including a team-leading 32 home runs and 90 RBI, with 20 homers and 41 RBI coming after the All-Star game.

As for teams that have been rumored to like Ike, both the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays will be looking for a first baseman this winter, with Davis seemingly being a good fit for them. Boston had sent two scouts to watch him play in the last series of the season against the Marlins, as they will be looking for an upgrade at the position after trading away Adrian Gonzalez this past August to the Dodgers. As for the Rays, they will be looking for a younger and cheaper option at first after seeing Carlos Pena hit .197/.330/.354 with 19 homers and 61 RBI, completing his one-year/$7.5 million deal.

At the end of the day, I can’t see any team coming out and giving the Mets what they would be looking for in exchange for Davis. If Boston wanted to get serious about acquiring the first baseman, I would like to see either Jacoby Ellsbury or Jarrod Saltalamacchia included in the deal, and it’s unlikely either one of those players will be moving over the next few months. The Rays feel Ike would fit in nicely with their team, and could be willing to give up some pitching for him, something the Mets really don’t need (if we’re talking about starting pitching). What makes him even more attractive to the open market is that he is under team control until he’s a free agent in 2017.

However, whatever Tampa would be willing to offer won’t replace those 32 homers he hit for the Mets in 2012. In addition to what he brings to the plate, it’s clear that Ike is the best defensive first baseman we’ve seen in Flushing since we saw John Olerud anchor one of the best infields ever back in 1999 and 2000. The front office would have to really be blown away with an offer to seriously consider shipping out a player like Ike Davis. So, if I were you, I wouldn’t be too worried about Davis getting a ticket out of town before pitchers and catchers report in the middle of February; J.P. Ricciardi said it himself.

Do you think Ike will get traded during the off-season?