Mets Keeping Ike Davis Until Spring Training

Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Today it has been reported that the Mets are going to keep first baseman Ike Davis on the team until spring training, despite their efforts all off-season to trade him.

In my opinion this is good decision by general manager Sandy Alderson. If the market is not their for Davis there is absolutely no sense in giving him away. Ike will be 27 years old at the onset of the 2014 season, which means he is at the point in his career where he should be “putting it all together” as a pro, but it seems that he has been regressing over the past couple of seasons.

Davis became a fan favorite amongst Mets fans as a rookie in 2010, a season that saw him finish 7th in rookie of the year voting, putting up a .264 average, 19 homers,  53 extra base hits, and 71 runs batted in. After missing much of his sophomore season with an injury and being diagnosed with Valley Fever the following spring Davis has not had the career arc that his early promise would have suggested.

Despite that being the case I would not want Alderson parting ways with Davis for nothing. You can not give away a 27 year old with a 30+ homer season on his resume (that’s exactly what got Chris Young $7 million from the Mets this year) Davis’ power does give him value which is why cutting ties with him would be a mistake unless you recouped something of value in return. This is especially true given that the Mets do not have a natural in-house replacement for Davis on the horizon. I am not sold on Lucas Duda as the answer at first base and the team has not imported enough power in free agency to justify moving Daniel Murphy to that position.

In my opinion the production the Mets get from the first base position will be the difference between a successful season and a failure. Davis has the ability to be a game changing, middle of the lineup, bat; something that very few people on the current roster can boast. My solution would be to try and import a low cost veteran (think of the Marlon Byrd signing from last year, except a first baseman) to push Davis for the starting role, or at least spell him if he fails to be productive. Maybe having even the stability of knowing that he will be a Met to start the Spring can propel Ike to a strong start. As a Mets fan, here’s hoping.

 

(all stats via baseball-reference.com)

Topics: Ike Davis, New York Mets

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  • chums41

    “Davis has the ability to be a game changing, middle of the lineup, bat” That’s a pretty aggressive statement! Ryan Howard is a game changer. Freddie Freeman has shown signs of being a potential game changer. Ike Davis will never be as good a ballplayer as Freeman or Howard. However, if he is allowed to return to his 2010 form; level swing, more doubles, more opposite field hits, he could be a very solid # 5 or 6 hitter in the lineup. Given the additional power bats in the lineup, perhaps management will back off its stance of pressuring Ike to be a 35-40 HR player and allow him to become the player he was always meant to be: BA:.260-75, HR: 20-25, RBI’s, 80-90, Doubles 35. His fielding, which dropped off a bit last year due to his hitting woes, should also return to top tier form. He could definitely be an important contributor to the team again, perhaps someone in Mets management should re-read Howard Johnson’s comments from this winter. While Ho Jo’s comments regarding Davis’ hitting style might not have been professional and/or appreciated, they were right on the mark.

    • James McDermott

      32 home runs two years ago is a game changing statistic, especially given that almost all of them came in the second half of the season. I’m not suggesting that he will be a Howard or a Freeman, but he has ability and potential, if he recognizes that potential he’s a dangerous middle of the lineup player, certainly more dangerous, from a pure power standpoint, than anyone else in the Mets lineup.

      • chums41

        Good points, my only concern with Ike is that if he makes a concerted effort to hit 30+ HR’s, his average will suffer and his K’s will jump towards the 160-180 range. Personally, I’d rather see him use his 2010 swing to hit .270, with less homers, less K’s and more doubles.

        • James McDermott

          He struck out a lot in 2010, too. I can live with Ike going for broke and hitting a lot of homers. I’d rather see a change of approach from Granderson because that park is made for his speed, he needs to put the ball in play. Ike can hit it out of any park. The Me need a power bat in the middle of the lineup to protect Wright, and Ihave no confidence they are going outside of the organization for it. Davis is the best bet if he can fulfill his potential.

          • chums41

            I think most would agree that 170-200 strikeouts constitutes a lot of strikeouts. Ike struck out 138 times in 147 games in 2010. That is not a lot of strikeouts. I understand that many fans, including yourself, can live with the strikeouts as long as he hits homers. After seeing how confident he looked at the plate in 2010, and how pathetic he frequently looked during the past two years, I am not in that camp. .

  • Bill

    Generally agree with you – I certainly would hate to see the Mets ‘give away’ Davis and have him come back to be a productive Major League hitter. I agree that what they get out of first base will go a long way to determining the type of season 2014 will be.

    Also, I definitely agree with chums41 when discussing his 2010 form – a return to that level and collect those stats (BA:.260-75, HR: 20-25, RBI’s, 80-90, Doubles 35) would be a very solid performance.

    My only question about this is who would you suggest that they bring in to play first (and challenge Davis) on a ‘Marlon Byrd’ type deal? There isn’t any serviceable player like that – if there were, Milwaukee or Pittsburgh would have already snagged him. Did you have anyone specific in mind? With the logjam they already have at first, it seems like bringing in one more would seem counter productive.

    • James McDermott

      I don’t consider Lucas Duda or Josh Satin a viable Major League option as a starter, so to me there’s no logjam, it’s Ike vs. nobody. The specific guy I had in mind earlier in the off-season has been scooped up (insert Corey Hart here).

      • Bill

        I certainly agree that Satin is not an MLB full time first baseman. I am not so convinced that Duda is not. I think if you give him a position that he can play (which he is OK at 1B, not the terrible he was in the OF), and tell him it is his position and to settle down and use the ballpark to hit doubles (the same approach that chums41 advocates for Davis), he’ll produce decent, if not good, numbers, even for the 1st base position. I prefer to see them trade Duda than Davis, but if Duda is the starter going in, I’m ok with that. The other thing that I have thought is to try to trade them both and pick up Kendrys Morales, but that is not a low-cost option. He has that same QO issue that Drew does and would be more expensive than either Davis or Duda.

        • James McDermott

          Duda has proven that he can hit home runs but can not drive in runs, that’s a problem at first base. How can you have 15 homers and only drive in 33 runs? That’s the least clutch thing I’ve ever seen.

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