After trying to deal him away all offseason long, the New York Mets have decided to keep Ike Davis around for now. And they should keep him around. In fact, they should keep him around all season long. Why? Because on this team, Davis is the best option for first base. He has enough offensive and defensive skills to risk it.
According to Andy Martino of New York Daily News, the last discussion that the Mets had with another team concerning Davis fell through. The Mets wanted to trade Davis for pitching, but the Milwaukee Brewers refused.
Now, Davis won't be cheap. He is projected to make over $3.5 million this season, according to Drew Silva of NBC Sports.
But Ike Davis is a better player to keep around than Lucas Duda. In terms of defense, we all know what Davis is capable of. Remember those three over-the-fence catches? Yeah, Duda is not going to give us that.
Davis has more range at first base than Duda has. He's able to move quicker and has a greater range than Duda. Additionally, Davis throws left-handed, while Duda throws right-handed. Davis being left-handed makes it easier to pick off players trying to steal second.
Who should be the Mets' first baseman in 2014?
Even with Curtis Granderson, David Wright and Chris Young, Davis' home run power still helps out the Mets heaps. He is fully capable of hitting 32 home runs like he did in 2012.
And of course the Mets would want something more than a guy who can hit 30 homers. Davis really does have the potential to be the hitter he once was. Since coming back from the minors last season, he had 35 hits including 11 doubles. That's a major improvement from striking out all game every game earlier in the season.
Davis was able to transform a .158 average into a .266 average hitter when he returned from the minors. He even managed to hit .290 before hurting his oblique.
The only thing that both Davis and the Mets should be wary about is his chance of injury. Whenever Davis has gotten hot over the past couple of years, there seems to be something preventing him from continuing doing so. A strained oblique, valley fever and an ankle injury are all culprits. If Davis manages to ward off the injury bug, he can possibly have a successful year.
Until Davis starts the year off hot and then carries that streak well into the year, there is no doubt that he will be labeled as a slow starter with up and down seasons. But the Mets should give him another chance.
He could fail as the power-hitting first baseman. In that case, the Mets should give him up at whatever cost because they aren't going to get a top deal for him. But if he succeeds, which I think he will, the Mets will be set. A healthy, successful Davis along with the likes of Granderson, Murphy, Wright and Young will make the Mets a billion times better than they were in previous years.