The New York Yankees traded Luke Voit a few days ago to the San Diego Padres. The 2020 American League home run champion (albeit, 22 dingers in a shortened year) became expendable due to his inability to stay healthy and questionable production. What does this have to do with the New York Mets? Voit is a lot like J.D. Davis.
Davis and Voit were two of baseball’s top trade candidates this offseason. Davis remains with the Mets while Voit has a new uniform to try on this season. Each will reach free agency after the 2024 season which puts them in an identical situation as far as control is concerned. Davis is younger, however, but with both having defensive limitations, there are enough similarities to compare the two.
In exchange for Voit, the Yankees picked up a single prospect, Justin Lange. Now ranked number 23 within their system, it’s a hint of what other teams may have been willing to give up for Davis.
Trading J.D. Davis for this return would have been a mistake by the Mets
To put it in a Mets perspective, Jordany Ventura is their number 23 prospect according to MLB.com. I know these lists can be arbitrary and a number 23 prospect at one point can easily surpass what an organization’s top guy does. Regardless, the Mets probably weren’t getting too many nibbles on Davis.
The added DH to the National League seemingly did little to increase Davis’ trade value around the league. Other factors at play—such as hoping for a better season or realizing he can hit well—were surely at play as well. Billy Eppler wasn’t ready to simply clear the roster spot for the sake of opening up a locker.
Davis will remain a top Mets trade candidate throughout the season. I expect him, if things go well for him, to be a possible piece they can deal at the deadline to upgrade elsewhere. If they need another starting pitcher, for instance, he could be a player to trade away for a two-month rental.
It never made much sense for the Mets to subtract from their roster in order to replenish the farm system with lesser prospects. Likely, this is all they could get in return for Davis after the lockout ended.
Whether he stays with the ball club all season or not, let’s see if his value can increase either on the trade market or for the Mets in the standings.