Now that Lucas Duda has been named the first baseman – at least for the time being – Ike Davis‘ future with the Mets has gotten murkier than it was prior to Opening Day. Davis, who most thought would get the bulk of the playing time at the start of the season, has been turned into a one-dimensional bench piece.
Mar 20, 2014; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA;New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis (29) bats against the Atlanta Braves in spring training action at Tradition Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
With the Mets heading to Anaheim soon for a series where they can utilize the designated hitter, having both Davis and Duda on the roster makes sense. After the Mets finish that series, though, something has to give.
Sending Davis to Triple-A would lessen his trade value and would also be a slap in the face to Davis – and cutting him shouldn’t be an option.
The Mets explored potential deals for Ike Davis during the offseason, and reportedly began gauging interest again recently.
In Saturday’s Daily News, Andy Martino says dealing Davis is what has to happen and is what the Mets are exploring:
"Just as in the offseason, the Mets are eager to move Davis — but also just as in the offseason, they want a decent return. Despite their preference for Duda, the Mets have declined several trade proposals for Davis in recent months, including Baltimore’s offer of pitcher Zach Britton, according to a person briefed on talks between the two clubs (that person said the Orioles now consider that deal off the table)."
Before people go nuts over the fact that the Mets turned down a deal that would’ve sent Davis to Baltimore for pitcher Zach Britton, they should take a look at Britton’s career numbers.
Britton, now 26, was once a top prospect. He isn’t anymore, as he’s struggled mightily in three separate stints in the majors over the last three seasons.
Prior to the season, the Mets were reportedly interested in dealing Davis for a starting pitcher, but it’s fair to wonder if that’s still the case.
With all the abuse the bullpen has taken thus far in 2014, moving Davis for a reliever with impact potential might be a smarter choice. In the event the Mets are able to land a solid shortstop for Davis – something that apparently isn’t likely – they should pounce.
The Mets may eventually regret trading Davis, but it appears they’ve made their choice with Duda. Something has to give.