Mets Monday Morning GM: The big J.D. Davis question everyone is debating

Does J.D. Davis get an invite back to Queens?
San Francisco Giants v New York Mets
San Francisco Giants v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

Former New York Mets third baseman, sometimes left fielder, should’ve been only a DH, J.D. Davis saw the writing on the wall when the San Francisco Giants signed Matt Chapman. Coming off of what would turn out to be a below-average campaign for him, the Giants decided to add Davis to the waiver wire to clear out his salary and roster spot. One way or another, he’s leaving San Francisco.

Davis was a beloved Mets player who came seemingly out of nowhere back in 2019 to hit for power and average while putting up some terrific OBP totals. 877-RUNS-NOW became a calling card whenever he produced.

Not always the most consistent hitter, Davis spoiled his best chance of regular playing time with the Mets in 2022 when he failed to win the permanent DH gig. The Mets unwisely traded him to the Giants in the infamous Darin Ruf deal along with three other prospects. Available to the Mets for nothing more than his salary if he’s not traded, the big question right now is whether or not he’s actually a good match for New York again.

Should the Mets consider bringing back J.D. Davis?

Without a doubt far more proven than at least three of the players on the roster he could replace, Davis makes the DH situation far better. Even if all he did was repeat the performance last year hitting .248/.325/.413 with 18 home runs, the Mets are in a far better spot.

Davis is as imperfect of a player as it gets. He doesn’t offer much at all on defense. He struck out a career-high 152 times in 546 chances last year. Roasting the Mets and their instability during his time with the organization doesn’t help matters much either. Although the front office staff has changed, there are enough remnants from 2022 still here who could hold a grudge.

Brushing aside any personal feelings, the bigger issue is what it does to the Mets’ plan. Does Davis make the Mets a more viable playoff contender? He absolutely does. However, those same complaints about playing time and role he had previously are bound to happen. The Mets are trying to figure out what they have with Brett Baty and Mark VIentos. Bringing Davis into the picture will force one of them out of the picture.

Davis is as close to a replica to what the Mets hope to get out of Vientos this year. Having accepted he’s not going to be a Gold Glove defender, he’ll need every at-bat possible to hit in the DH role. Down to his final minor league option, sending him down at any point in 2024 will put the Mets in a tough position if there are unanswered questions. They’ll either need to have him on the major league roster next year regardless of those questions or trade/DFA him.

The $6.9 million salary owed to Davis could’ve been used by the Mets much more wisely than to add him back through waivers. They’ve balked at numerous opportunities to add an upgrade over DJ Stewart. As high as the floor seems to be with him compared to some of the other members of the Mets roster, it’s completely counterintuitive to everything else the club has done this offseason. This should give us doubts that the Mets would even consider a reunion.

Davis absolutely makes the Mets a better team offensively if he’s a DH/3B option. The question is who he takes playing time away from immediately. He’s only worth it if he starts over someone else.