When last we left first base, we were left with a platoon situation of the strangest order. Lucas Duda now playing against lefties with Ike Davis not hitting. What was first thought to be a showcase move for Duda might still be. But we have a much sharper crease in the material.
The Mets will consider trading Ike Davis this offseason as a way to upgrade other areas of the team and open a spot for Lucas Duda at his natural position, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com. While that does not guarantee Davis will be moved, it at least is a very plausible option. Davis should be marketable despite a slow start because he is a 30-homer threat with the potential for above-average fielding at first base. The Mets are disappointed with Davis' unwillingness to make changes based on coaching advice. Although he is personable and by no means a troublemaker, they also worry -- fairly or unfairly -- he is out too late after games, and that could influence other young players.
Wait, a baseball player who stays out late after games? This is a tradeable offense? That's like demoting an office assistant for taking home post-its.
I thought the modus operandi was to wait until a player or coach leave their organization before ownership or "baseball sources" trash them to make their fanbase feel better about the decision. (Just look at the various smear campaigns the Red Sox put on former players and managers when they leave.) This one is baffling. It's almost as if the Mets are looking at an excuse to be rid of him, for whatever reason, and just setting us up.
There's interest in who this "baseball source" is. Not so much name rank and serial number (because we know that we'll never know, as we shouldn't), but where in the organization this is coming from ... if even from inside the organization. But as long as the "baseball source" is a trusted one, even if he/she comes from another organization, it's gotta have its genesis from the Mets in some way. But at least if it's a source from another club, you could say that there was no intention on anybody with the Mets to get this out there, and that this was just a matter of trusting the wrong person with your information ... which is bad enough. If this "baseball source" was indeed a "Mets source", then this "Mets source" would be called "incredibly f*cking stupid".
First off, you're not going to fill multiple holes on the Mets by trading Ike Davis, I don't care how much more value he has than Duda. Fact is, Davis is coming off two seasons in which he missed most of one, and stunk for two months of the other. If this was a source from the Mets, then this source devalued Davis further. Why would you do that if you have a brain in your head? Though there is speculation on who this "source" might be. And if it's right, the answer is no, there's no brain in that head.) If you doubt that this organization is capable of such numbskullery such as undercutting their own employees, look no further than New York Magazine for the answer to that question.
Ike Davis' response seems thoughtful:
"I don't really have an answer for that because it's never been an issue. I've never done anything wrong. I show up to the field ready to play every day. I really don't even know where it's coming from, and it's not really true. It is what it is. People can say whatever they want. It's not going to bother us. "I don't know what 'late' is, because when you leave the ballpark at 12 [midnight] and you get back to your place at 12:30, if you watch a movie it's 2:30. Is that late? It's up to everyone to decide what late is. If I had a job where I had to wake up at 6 in the morning, it would probably be late. But it's not. Our lifestyle is a little different.
I've never had a meeting. Nothing. It's just out of the blue. It's hard to answer questions when no one can say who it was or why they even said it. I don't know if it's a cheap shot. It's falsely accused, I guess. It comes out of nowhere. It happens to athletes like this -- a rumor or something is said and it's blown out of proportion. "If you've seen my stances this year, we've tried a lot of things. I don't know about the 'uncoachable' thing. I don't know who would ever say that. I've done everything the coaches have asked me. It's really just a bunch of unknown statements. I talked to the coaches, and none of them said they said it. You can talk to teammates, coaches and everybody says the opposite. I don't know what to tell you, because it doesn't really make sense."
Terry Collins, for his part, supports what Ike said and stresses that the organization is behind him 100%. Well that's great, but it's obviously not quite 100%. Only question is whether the percentage that leaked this is less than .01%, or counts for a little bit more. And will this be just a whistle in the wind, or a full blown tornado like the one that scared the Mets into postponing Tuesday's game to Thursday.
But let me reiterate: trading Ike Davis to put Lucas Duda at first base will bear out to be a mistake ... a huge mistake. Now obviously, it depends on who the Mets would get back in trade. If I'm the Red Sox, I make the first call to Sandy Alderson if Ike is on the block. Would the Red Sox trade, say, catcher Ryan Lavarnway for him? Probably not in any situation. And definitely not after a season where Ike's going to finish in the .220's. And that's the point here. Look, Lucas Duda probably isn't going to bring back much. But we know this. To paraphrase a famous football rant, "he is who we think he is ... and that's why we put him at first base, because some sucker might give up more for a pig if it had lipstick". Davis isn't going to bring back as much in the off-season as I think he can provide for the Mets in 2013. He can be .280, 30, 100 easily if the Mets can add pieces to that lineup to help him get to 100. And isn't that the point? To build? Not to tear down?
Though I'm fully aware that this is the Mets we're talking about, and logic tends to go straight out the window with this team. Much like trading a 30/100 guy for doing what pretty much every ballplayer does, and for something that obviously isn't true. Yeah, that kind of stupid.