Mets didn’t pay the Nolan Arenado price tag but still have third base options
By Tim Boyle
Nolan Arenado will suit up for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021. One of the perpetually best players on the Major League Baseball trade block for several seasons now has finally exited Denver. Meanwhile, the New York Mets third base situation remains the same—at least for now.
It would seem J.D. Davis is in line to start the majority of games at the hot corner for New York in 2021. He took over the position from Jeff McNeil last year when the two swapped. Davis originally began as a left fielder with McNeil manning third base. Both were inefficient and actually improved when the change occurred.
Davis, though, isn’t exactly in the best spot with the Mets. Sandy Alderson doesn’t seem incredibly keen on a roster with him at third base. He’s one of the few players not linked to Alderson through old trades, signings, or draft picks. One of the lone successful moves made by Brodie Van Wagenen, Davis is on the outside of looking in.
Will the Mets upgrade at third base?
There are still plenty of options out there for the Mets now with Arenado off the board. The biggest available name is Kris Bryant. He has already been linked to the Mets this offseason in plenty of rumors.
The Chicago Cubs haven’t been shy about shedding salary. Among the moves, they designated Kyle Schwarber for assignment and traded Yu Darvish to the San Diego Padres. Bryant could be next.
There aren’t any options nearly as enticing as Bryant even if he is one year away from free agency. I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if the Mets get a little more creative if an upgrade at third is indeed something they hope to accomplish before Opening Day.
Another notable name to watch is Eugenio Suarez. The Cincinnati Reds third baseman is on the block and someone the club would like to trade to save a few bucks.
What about J.D. Davis?
Davis is the only Mets player heading to arbitration which could mean less than some people make it out to be. It’s not uncommon for players to go to the arbitration process and still come away with a long relationship with the club.
It’s the accumulation of everything else which seems to hint that the Mets are less interested in Davis and would like to make a change at third base. Davis certainly didn’t live up to expectations in 2020. After his awesome debut year with the club in 2019, he was much closer to average and not the same slugger he was a year earlier.
If the Mets are going to make a trade for a third baseman, it seems to make a lot of sense to trade Davis in the same deal. The franchise seems to prefer keeping their best prospects. Davis’ role with the Mets would place him on the bench which would be really great to have. Unfortunately, it’s tough to imagine any deal getting done without his involvement. Davis is, after all, still affordable and has a few years of control left.
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Davis should remain with the Mets unless they get a clear and obvious upgrade at the position. Otherwise, he’s their guy whether the front office prefers it or not.