I'm glad the Mets made Ike Davis available. However, regardless of the 'extreme asking price,' as one baseball insider described it, the market for Davis was clearly not as hot as the Mets anticipated. Ike's fate in New York is now in his own hands, which I hope motivates him to be amazing in 2014.
“I want to go back,” Davis told the Daily News (Martino, Jan. 9). “I want to have another chance. I want to win with the Mets.”
According to reports, Sandy Alderson has spent much of the off season talking to the Brewers, Orioles, Rays and Pirates, among others, about trading Davis. The Mets have been reportedly asking these teams for a big-league ready, upper-level pitching prospect. They have seeminglt been shot down at every turn.
In a report Thursday, Alderson said the Mets are not actively engaged in trade discussions involving Davis (DiComo, Jan.9 ). However, earlier this week, Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he was still talking with the Mets about Davis, though the two sides had yet to see eye-to-eye on a deal (MLB.com, Jan. 7).
Here's how this works: The Mets and Brewers meet (probably at the GM Meetings in early November, as is customary when teams get together to exchange goals, names, ideas, etc.). The Mets say they're open to trading Davis, the Brewers say they're interested. At some point, probably just before the Winter Meetings, a Mets assistant GM reaches out to a counterpart with the Brewers (and probably the O's, Pirates, Rays and any other team in contact when hearing Davis and Lucas Duda have been discussed) and informs them the Mets are looking to acquire a certain type of pitching prospect -- maybe specific names are discussed, maybe not. Time passes, and the interested teams call again, and again the Mets say, 'We want this specific big-league ready, upper-level pitching prospect,' and again, they're told that pitcher isn't getting moved for Davis. The market consolidates, the Brewers call back and, again, the Mets ask for the same pitcher and, again, nothing happens. This continues to happen until it becomes clear neither the Mets nor Brewers are budging... and here we are...
The fact is, in most cases, if a player is made available and he has legitimate value to other teams some one will pull the trigger on the deal. It happens time and time again. The Mets could have given Davis away, but what would be the point of that? Also, interested teams know that if the Mets feel desperate for a roster spot or need to save money, they can cut Davis for just $600,000, making him a free agent before the start of the season. So, I'm sure teams are reluctant to 'overpay in trade,' especially if they feel he may soon be available for nothing.
Now, the Mets will likely start Spring Training with Davis, Duda, Wilmer Flores, Josh Satin and others in an open competition at first base, which will likely end in some sort of platoon.
I would have handled this the same way as Alderson. Davis clearly has more value to the Mets than other teams, given the roster and demand for that position. I think it's smart to set a price and stick to it. The guy hit 30 home runs two years ago. He has talent. He needs to focus on his swing and concentrate his power. He can be a force if he does this, or a has-been if he doesn't. It's up to him.
“I have wanted to stay,” Davis said (Martino, Jan. 9). “I don’t want to leave on this kind of note. I have roots here, with the only team I have ever known. It’s something that a player dreams about, staying with the only team you have ever known.”