Are you a GM looking for a First Baseman?
Let’s look at the players currently listed as the #1 player at first base depth chart on the official MLB team websites. If you were a GM, would you replace that player with either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda?
Baltimore Orioles – Chris Davis. Crash made 155 starts at first base in 2013 and led the AL in Home Runs and RBI’s. A possibility if Chris moves to DH, but not a necessity.
Boston Red Sox – Mike Napoli. He just signed a 2 year deal for $32 million. Nope.
New York Yankees – Mark Teixeira. Under contract through 2016. Nope.
Tampa Bay Rays – James Loney. Just got a 3 year contract for $21 million. Nope.
Toronto Blue Jays – Edwin Encarnacion. Signed through 2015 with 2016 team option. Nope.
Chicago White Sox – Jose Abreu. Cuban defector and slugger who signed with the White Sox as a free agent in October. Nope.
Cleveland Indians – Nick Swisher. Signed through 2016 with 2017 vesting option. Nope.
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera. Absolutely not.
Kansas City Royals – Eric Hosmer. Gold Glove. .302 hitter. Not eligible for free agency until 2018. Nope.
Minnesota Twins – Joe Mauer. They just moved him to First. Nope.
Los Angeles Angels – Albert Pujols. Under contract until 2021. Nope.
Oakland A’s – Brandon Moss. 30 HR in 2013 and not eligible for free agency until 2017. Nope.
Seattle Mariners – Justin Smoak. Strikes out. Has some power. Doesn’t hit for a high average. Under team control. A possibility, but why trade what you know for what you don’t know?
Texas Rangers – Prince Fielder. Nope.
Atlanta Braves – Freddie Freeman. Nope.
Florida Marlins – Garrett Jones. Just signed for 2 years and $7.5 million. Nope.
Philadelphia Phillies – Ryan Howard. Signed through 2016 with 2017 team option. He’s been hurt. He’s not the player he once was. But the Mets aren’t trading with the Phillies.
Washington Nationals – Adam LaRoche. Signed for 2014 with 2015 mutual option. Nope.
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo. Signed through 2019 with options for 2020-21. Nope.
Cincinnati Reds – Joey Votto. Nope.
Milwaukee Brewers – Juan Francisco. Earliest free agency 2018. 26 years old. Some power. Strikes out a lot. Doesn’t hit for a high average. A possibility.
St. Louis Cardinals – Matt Adams. Pre-arbitration eligible slugging first baseman. Nope.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt. Signed through 2018 with 2019 team option. Nope.
Colorado Rockies – Justin Morneau. Just signed for 2 years, $12.5 million with 2016 mutual option. Nope.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Adrian Gonzalez. Signed through 2018. Nope.
San Diego Padres – Yader Alonso. Pre-arbitration eligible. Hasn’t done much in the majors – not likely, but a possibility.
San Francisco Giants – Brandon Belt. First year arbitration eligible coming off a good 2013 campaign. Nope.
Orioles, Mariners, Brewers, Pirates, Padres. None of them have any major incentive to make an overwhelming offer to acquire Ike Davis. A trade for Duda by any of these teams wouldn’t net a top prospect as he’d just be in the mix to compete and won’t be guaranteed a job before spring training ends.
Teams would rather use the designated hitter spot to mix and match, give other position players a blow, etc. Unless they are acquiring a star to play DH everyday, no team is going to go all-out for a player who barely touched .200 in the last two years to be their DH – no matter how seductive his power looks.