Ike Close, Syndergaard’s Stock Up, Beltran in FA?


Here are today’s pertinent news and notes…

Ike Davis appears close to big league return:

First baseman Ike Davis, who was sent down to AAA Las Vegas 16 days ago, looks to be nearing a return to the Mets.  Since being demoted, Davis has hit .333 with a .483 OBP for Las Vegas, while blasting 5 home runs (all in his last 4 games) and driving in 10.

May 21, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) prior to his at bat during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Before last night’s game in Vegas, Adam Rubin of ESPN noted that there’s a solid chance Davis will be brought back to the big leagues in time for Thursday’s makeup game in Colorado.  Terry Collins, who’s been getting good reports about Davis from the coaches in AAA, noted a few days ago that the Mets recently promoted Zach Lutz over Davis due to the string of lefties the Mets were about to face.

There was a report that Davis was upset when Lutz was promoted over him, leading general manager Sandy Alderson to intervene and calm him.  Full details have yet to emerge.

A fair number of people believe Davis needs more time to get his act together in the minors, and his PCL numbers should certainly be taken with a grain of salt.  However, Davis is producing and there is a need now that Lucas Duda is on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle.  Even if some of Davis’ production can be attributed to the hitter friendliness of the environment he’s in, what can’t be argued is that he’s making contact and getting on base at a significant clip.  A few weeks ago, he looked lost.  That’s no longer the case.

Syndergaard’s stock is rising:

Noah Syndergaard, who the Mets acquired as part of the R.A. Dickey trade, is turning heads.

The 20 year old righthander, who recently made his AA debut, is ranked 23rd overall on the Baseball Prospectus mid-season top 50 prospects list.  The 6’5″, 200 pound Syndergaard was ranked 28th before the season.  In their report, BP suggests that with continued success, Syndergaard may crack their top 10 list after the season.

If the Mets want to acquire an impact outfield bat (as they’ve been saying for months), they’ll almost certainly have to part with one of Syndergaard or Rafael Montero.  It would be a shame if Syndergaard is dealt, but with his stock rising, other teams are sure to have tons of interest in the fast moving fireballer with a plus curveball.

If he isn’t dealt, Syndergaard is likely to remain in AA Binghamton for the remainder of the season (he has about 60 innings left before he reaches his innings limit).  He’d then be a candidate to reach AAA Las Vegas early in 2014, which would put him just one step away from the majors.

Is a Carlos Beltran reunion possible?

Carlos Beltran is a free agent after the season, and the Mets are in need of an outfielder with power.  Here’s what Buster Olney recently had to say regarding the possibility of the Cardinals offering Beltran an extension:

"My opinion: The only way the Cardinals might consider that would be if Beltran was willing to take a big cut in pay — and even then, St. Louis may still politely decline. St. Louis has other outfield options on the way, from the highly touted Oscar Taveras to Allen Craig, who could be moved from first base when Matt Adams is installed. To me, the Cardinals‘ choice would come down to this: Would they prefer to keep Beltran over the cheaper and younger Adams? Because if Beltran is on the team, then Craig must play first base, and there’s no room left for Adams."

If Olney’s assertion is correct, it appears that Beltran won’t be returning to the Cardinals for 2014 and beyond.  I’ve seen it written over and over that a Beltran/Mets reunion is impossible, but I don’t agree.

It’s true that Beltran had an issue with Mets fans from 2005 to early 2006.  After that, however, he adjusted to the city, got along with the fans, and became one of the best players the Mets ever had.  Carlos Beltran wasn’t traded because the Mets didn’t want him anymore, he was traded because the team was entering a rebuilding phase.  Now that the Mets are ready to add pieces to the roster again, Beltran seems like a near perfect fit.

The 36 year old Beltran is hitting .305 with a .345 OBP to go along with 17 home runs and 46 RBI’s this season for the Cardinals.  He’s in the final year of a 2 year, 26 million dollar deal.

Before the season, I suggested that the Mets should look into signing two players from the group of Carlos Gomez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and Beltran.  Well, Gomez signed an extension with Milwaukee, and Ellsbury has continued to have injury issues.  That leaves Choo and Beltran as the two players the Mets should target.

It’s likely that Beltran can be had for a two year deal that’s identical to the one he’s about to play out.  If that’s the case, the Mets should do everything in their power to bring him back.  The return of Beltran would fit a major need, and if he helps to deliver the Mets a title, potentially lead to a triumphant end to a Hall of Fame career.

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