I saw a comment on one of the threads this morning that floated the possibility that Ike Davis won’t be around when the Mets start contending again.
ESPN’s Jason Martinez believes the Mets will approach the team’s only legitimate 30+ home run hitter with a deal for a contract extension at some point this year or next. The question of whether the Mets should or should not extend Davis was hotly debated in a mailbag post you can read here.
Now that the Mets have avoided arbitration with Davis and both sides agreed on a one-year deal worth $3.2 million dollars, the plot thickens somewhat.
Davis gets a hefty raise from the $500K he earned last season. It’s the first step to a four year process that will take his salary to the $15 million dollar a year range by 2016. Even the $7-8 million dollars he most likely will earn in 2014 sounds like a tough nut to crack for a team who hasn’t doled out that much cash annually in a new contract to a player in many years. Not counting their franchise player David Wright who just cashed in for $142 million through 2020, Jason Bay was actually the last of the Mohicans.
So will the Mets open their wallets and pay Ike Davis at a level commensurate with what other first basemen at his offensive and defensive production get paid?
I don’t think so.
I have yet to see any evidence that this front office will pay any player not named Wright at current market value levels. It’s not in their DNA. And the only reason they gave Wright that money is because they believe they would make it all back in spades with fans who pay to see him. Imagine home attendance in 2013 without him…
Last season I saw what looked like the start of a whisper campaign against Ike Davis which was quickly snuffed out by Davis himself a day later. But the fact remains that someone from the team did feed that malarkey to Adam Rubin. He didn’t just whisk it out of thin air.
I’ve discussed the Mets and their whisper campaigns ad nauseam on this site over the years. This is how the Mets work. It’s how they operate. It always begins with a hint of trouble in paradise and months later it resurfaces and eventually snowballs into a chain reaction that ends with that player’s ouster.
I alluded to whisper campaigns for that lazy, selfish, money-grubbing bum Jose Reyes. I mentioned it again for that negative, agitating, clubhouse cancer Angel Pagan. And most recently I again warned of it for that self promotional, no-class, ego-maniac R.A. Dickey. Each time I was met with the criticism that I was reading too much into things. And yet a week or two later each player was gone along with the accompanying jeers and sneers from many fans who were once devoted – just they way the front office wanted it.
In the words of Colonel John Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”
Watching Ike Davis this season will be exciting. But that excitement will be short-lived and could eventually become bittersweet if he were to – lets say – win a home run crown in 2013 or lead the National League in slugging.
Winning baseball awards and hardware can be a dangerous thing for a Met these days. It could spell his doom and his demise in exchange for more prospects.