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First base has been a logjam for the Mets all season. Ike Davis for the most part has been the starting first baseman, but after a long slump for most of the first half, Davis was demoted to the minor leagues in mid-June. He was called back up in early July and has hit better in the second half, although not as well as he did in the second half of the 2012 season. Davis is currently batting .204 with just eight home runs and 30 RBI.
While Davis was in the minor leagues, Josh Satin got his first big opportunity to play every day and was the Mets' primary first baseman in Davis' absence. Satin is batting .280 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 132 at-bats. Since Davis was brought back up, Satin has gotten starts at first base, usually against a left-handed starting pitcher, in what has turned into more or less, a platoon.
In 2014, the Mets could decide to non-tender Davis, which would make him a free agent. Davis is currently under team control through 2017, but after an inconsistent season in 2012 and a lost season this year, the Mets could decide to go in a different direction at the position. However, Davis still seems to have the most potential among all of the Mets' internal options.
Satin may not necessarily be the answer at first base. He will probably not provide the power and run production that Davis is capable of doing. Satin is better off as a utility infielder off the bench, being that he can also play second base and third base. Nonetheless, he is definitely in the mix next season to be the starting first baseman.
Another option at the position is Lucas Duda. Duda (.235 average, 11 home runs, 23 RBI in 230 at-bats) was the Mets Opening Day left fielder, but after suffering an intercostal injury in mid-June, Duda went on the disabled list and ultimately lost his left field job to the speedy Eric Young Jr. Now that Duda is back on the roster, he will very likely be only playing first base for the rest of the season.
Unless the Mets decide to cut Davis loose, it seems inevitable that Duda's time with the Mets is all but over. The Mets will have to choose who to keep between the two and will likely trade one of them away. With Davis being better defensively and having proven more at the major league level, Duda seems more likely to be dealt away in the offseason.
Duda never seemed like a particularly great fit for the Mets. He has the power potential to be a feared slugger, but he just has not put it all together yet. Furthermore, his defense has not been good in the outfield and probably is not as good as Davis at first base. Hence, a trade to an American League team in need of a first baseman or designated hitter would be best for Duda in the long run.
A fourth option is the young right-handed hitting Wilmer Flores. Flores has been playing third base since his August promotion, due to David Wright's hamstring injury. However, once Wright is healthy again, the Mets will need to either find a spot in the infield for Flores or trade him away.
Flores can play first base and second base adequately. He would be an outside chance to become the Mets starting first baseman and is more likely to be a second baseman, simply because the Mets have more first base depth.
In the end, unless the Mets decide to not offer Davis a contract, Davis will likely be the Mets' 2014 Opening Day first baseman.
The Mets' long-term future at first base is one of the team's biggest question marks. Can Ike Davis become a more consistent hitter and avoid another first-half slump? Will Lucas Duda ever get an opportunity to play first base regularly? Where do Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores fit in? Will any of these players end up getting traded? So much is unknown right now, but general manager Sandy Alderson will probably have to think a lot about what to do at this position.
Yet another factor is Dominic Smith, the Mets' first-round pick in the 2013 draft. Like Davis, Smith is a left-handed hitting first baseman with power, but he will not be major league-ready for years. As a result, the Mets need to figure out what to do at first base for the next few seasons before Smith is even considered an option. The Mets could also sign or trade for another player to play first base. Time will tell what ends up happening.