There hasn’t been much in the way of tangible trade rumors in recent weeks, as the market has been pretty silent. One name that continues to linger, though, is that of New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis. The Mets are believed to be shopping him, and while we’ve heard some potential contenders as far as clubs that could make sense in acquiring the veteran first baseman, no one has entered serious talks.
Ike Davis was once considered one of the top up-and-coming first basemen anywhere in the league before injuries and inconsistency got his career a bit off track. One could make the argument that if the Mets were to deal him, they’d be selling low on him. He appeared in only 103 games in 2013, and has only managed at least 150 once in the last three seasons. Worse yet, his performance was rough across the board.
Davis went for an average of just .205 in 2013, a career low, but his .326 on-base percentage was higher than his 2012 total. Of course, one could look to his BABIP in each of the last two years to at least partially explain the decline in production, as it was at just .246 in 2012 and .268 in 2013. He’s flashed considerable power before, as he was entering last year coming off of a 32 home run season the year before.
The Mets are still asking a great deal for Ike Davis, as demonstrated in the fact that they reportedly asked the Baltimore Orioles for prized pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez in trade talks, which is why they fell through. Other teams in on Davis have been reported to be the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates, at least thus far into the offseason.
At this point, however, it seems that the Mets may not just be forced to keep Ike Davis, they may be better off in doing so. He has big upside and is still only 26. Perhaps a team on the rise like the Mets should keep a first baseman with 30 homer potential, rather than try and move him coming off of a couple of disappointing years, statistically.
Sending Davis away at this point is simply illogical. Prospective teams are going to know that they’re the ones taking the larger risk and will have to help Davis to make the necessary adjustments in order to get back to the level at which he was expected to perform. Teams aren’t going to want to pay much for that. Keep him, hope he turns it around, and reevaluate at a later date.