New York Mets trade three minor leaguers to gamble on J.D. Davis
By Tim Boyle
J.D. Davis will fight for a spot with the New York Mets in 2019. However, the trade that brought him to Flushing looks like a major gamble by Brodie Van Wagenen.
The New York Mets have been active this year. We’re only a few days into 2019 and already we’ve seen them make moves to add to their depth. On Sunday, they made another gamble by acquiring J.D. Davis from the Houston Astros.
Davis and minor leaguer Cody Bohanek will go to the Mets. In exchange, Luis Santana, Ross Adolph, and Scott Manea head to Houston’s farm system.
This is the second consecutive day where the Mets have added a guy who batted below .200 last year in the major leagues. Yesterday, they made a trade for Keon Broxton with the Milwaukee Brewers. Today, it’s Davis who joins the potential suitors for the last spot on the roster.
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Although Davis has slashed just .194/.262/.321 in his first 181 MLB plate appearances, he has proven he can mash against Triple-A pitching. Last year, in 377 trips to the plate, he batted .342/.406/.583 with 17 home runs. While these numbers are atypical and not something we would expect in a full year from him at any level, he has consistently hit over 20 home runs and either reached or come close to the century mark in RBI.
Viewed by GM Brodie Van Wagenen as a “versatile depth piece,” it’s a nice addition to the roster. However, for what the Mets gave up, I’m not confident in the end result.
All three players the Mets gave up in this deal had productive 2018 campaigns. For an organization with a shallow farm system, it’s a little alarming to give up so much of the future for a long shot at a better present.
Davis is no kid either. He’ll turn 26 on April 27 of this year. For him to remain unproven at the big league level has me unsatisfied with this decision.
On a positive note, he has already been on Team Noah Syndergaard before in this tweet from the 2015 World Series.
It appears Davis would be used as a multi-positional piece on the roster similar to the way we could see Jeff McNeil employed. Davis is a right-handed stick with a track record of hitting for power. For what he is, it’s a nice decision.
The problem is I’m not sure he was worth giving up so much to obtain. Guys like him grow on trees. There are veteran players out there who could have signed for a cheap one-year deal who could do the same. The benefit of Davis is the age and number of control years remaining. I get that.
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But this is a win-very-soon type of move. You cannot say Davis was a better option than others unless financial considerations are a priority. As the case often is with this organization, the cheap salary of Davis outweighed the possibility of landing someone a little more experienced with an extra zero attached to the end of his paycheck.