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The Latest on the Ike Davis Market

December 16th, 2013 at 4:41 PM
By Mike Phillips

Ike Davis trade rumors seem to be popping up every day for the New York Mets. The Mets have been actively shopping Davis throughout the winter, and seem to have at least some interest from several teams. The two teams who reportedly had the strongest interest in Davis were the Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros on the fringe of talks. The Rays can now be scratched off the list of trade destinations for Davis after they re-signed James Loney to a three year, 21 million dollar contract last week. 

'Ike Davis' photo (c) 2010, slgckgc - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Loney deal removes a very big player from trade talks in the Rays, who have now filled their first base hole. The Brewers would now appear to be the top candidate to trade for Davis, and the Mets have been talking to the Brewers throughout the winter. The problem for the Mets is two fold now. The first problem appears to be GM Sandy Alderson's asking price. Alderson has been asking for young pitching in any deal for Davis, and has reportedly asked Milwaukee for Tyler Thornburg. Thornburg is the Brewers' top pitching prospect and is currently slated to be the team's fifth starter, so that discussion has gone no where for a while. 

A new problem that has emerged is saturation of the market on the seller's side. A lot of teams besides the Mets are shopping underachieving left handed first basemen. The Toronto Blue Jays have been shopping Adam Lind, and the Texas Rangers have also been dangling Mitch Moreland after they acquired Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers a few weeks ago. The Seattle Mariners also have an excess first baseman to deal as well, former top prospect Justin Smoak. With the market so saturated with left handed hitting first basemen, the solution could be a game of musical chairs between needy teams and willing trade partners.

The Mets will have a decision to make on the Ike Davis front in the coming weeks. Davis is due to make almost four million dollars in 2014 after salary arbitration, and the Mets feel that they have a better first base value on their roster in Lucas Duda. GM Sandy Alderson has also stated that he is not in the business of "giving away players", so he appears to be driving a hard bargain for Davis. Given the saturation of the market, Alderson may be forced to either settle for a lesser package to deal Davis away or ride him out in 2014 and hope for improvement. The next few weeks will be telling in the first base market, and if the Mets aren't careful they could be the only team left without a dance partner. 

Tags: Adam Lind, Baseball, Ike Davis, James Loney, Justin Smoak, Milwaukee Brewers, Mitch Moreland, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Rays

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