Sometimes The Best Trades You Make…

Ike DavisDespite the seemingly non-stop buzz surrounding the Mets’ attempts to trade Ike Davis, something tells me that if they fail to consummate a swap, it may turn out to be the best overall result. Power, as we have been reminded repeatedly, has become a progressively scarcer resource throughout baseball since the tide of steroid use has receded.

The Met organization has never been a particularly plentiful source of longball threats in the course of its draft history, so when events conspire to produce an actual 30+ homer threat of the home-grown variety, you would think that the managerial mind trust would be loathe to part with that asset, ugly stretches of non-production or not.

And yet, here we are with Ike Davis being basically hawked to all comers like a Sham-Wow despite representing what a team like the Mets generally looks for: a relatively young power threat coming into his prime years, under team control, and looking to prove that he belongs. Wildly inconsistent or not, based on the additional factor of defense and the likely in-house alternatives, doesn’t Ike represent the best chance for this team to field the type of power threat generally associated with his position?

A few other factors suggest to me that selling low on Ike at this point could be a major mistake. One would be his almost extreme selectivity last season upon returning to the big club from his Vegas exile. While many decried his seeming transformation into a high OBP, low power type as evidence of a lack of aggressiveness, we can certainly contrast it with the early-season version of Ike who swung at nearly everything and see it as a stage in the evolution of a more polished hitter. Lest we forget, Ted Williams always emphasized the importance of getting a good pitch to hit, and while I am not suggesting that Ike is about to morph into the second coming of the Splinter, I would say that we should take his emphasis on improving his pitch recognition as a good sign.

Another factor that should enter into this picture is the addition of Curtis Granderson to the lineup and the clubhouse. While Granderson’s high strikeout totals are nothing to look to emulate, his consistent ability to produce hard-hit, long fly balls (which will likely clear the fences with less regularity in Citi Field), still reflects the approach of a hitter with a plan, something that could very well rub off on the Met first-sacker. Add in Curtis’ sunny disposition and you have a formula for a mentor that may be able to get through to the notoriously stubborn Davis.

Finally, with Ike entering his age 27 season this year, he will be at the age when many players begin to hit their stride and hopefully enter a period of peak production. With the Mets showing signs of emerging from their long dark tunnel, but still perceived to have a ways to go to achieving something other than purely Dark Horse status, rolling the dice one more time on Ike and his frustration-producing “potential” would seem a reasonable thing to do. I’m actually rooting for it.

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About Gerry Silverman 53 Articles
Having caught the Met bug as a youth during the Miracle run of 1969, I've remained a steadfast fan through the highs and (too many) lows. After many years in the Financial Services biz, I now devote much of my attention to my favorite pursuits: blues guitar, books, movies, and all things Metsian.
  • Xavier 22

    I don’t mind them keeping Davis as long as it’s not used as an excuse for not signing Drew (to a two year deal). Seriously Wilpons, a $90-100M payroll for a New York team is NOT extravagant. In fact, it’s table stakes.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Since Flores needs time in AAA, to learn to play 1B, I’m fine with starting the year with a 1B platoon. Satin deserves the starts vs LHPers. So let Davis and Duda battle it out in ST, to see who the LH side of the platoon will be.

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    What are out options? once we see what’s available and what out options are, the more and more i am inclined to keep davis. why not keep him and see what he does with what “seems” to be a good lineup according to sandy and his lovers? he has hit 30+ HR and has driven 90+ runs, so the ability to drive in runs and hit HRs is there. he plays good enough defense, keep him instead of Duda who is just not good anywhere. this OBP stuff has made a lot of people forget how baseball is actually play. i can’t recall last time anyone said gee, i wanna go to the game today to see (insert player here) draw one or two walks in today’s game… i am really looking forward to that.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Taking walks isn’t sexy, but it can be effective. That said, Duda takes way too many good pitches to hit. Especially with runners on base.

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    Taking walks isn’t sexy, but it can be effective.”

    yeah to a guy who’s a leadoff hitter, to maybe a guy who’s a speedster and can either steal a base or get to third on a base hit, not for a guy who’s slower than a turtle and is supposed to be a power hitter to some extent. how can you have that big frame and go to the plate thinking WALK?? GTFOH with that crap…

  • Biggle Boy

    If they can’t get some kind of prospect for Ike, then I agree keeping him is OK. If he finds his power our offense should be respectable. And his @$3.5M shouldn’t prevent us signing Drew for 2 yrs.

  • I just can’t deal with another half season of waiting for him to get out of his slump. If they can’t get anything worth while in a trade them I am fine with keeping him for evaluation in spring. If he is doing the same crap at the plate they can DFA him before the season and only be on the hook for 700k for his potential 3.5m ARB he will get.

  • No one is clamoring for a walk, they will just take it over a bad out. Also no one is clamoring for Ike to be a walker, we need his power. When he had that small turnaround before his injury most thought is was BS and he wasn’t fixed at all. To me he seemed to scared to swing and look bad and pulled off a couple extra walks for not swinging at the garbage that pitchers threw him.

  • Alex68 (Ch)

    Bad out? you know what’s a bad out? being down in the count 0-2 without you even blinking an eye and having to protect the plate by a huge margin because you’re going there thinking walk… get out of here with that

  • ClarkWGrizwold

    I think having Ike in camp could have an all around benefit on many fronts. Satin is the RH platoon for whoever wins the job so no more trying to find Ike/Duda at bats against LH and losing confidence when they can’t hit them. If Ike wins the job and can carry over the .286/.449/.505 line from his last 40 games and add some power that’s a plus. He’s not going to have to be the only other power source other than Wright like last year. With Grandy, Young and TDA we finally have some length in the lineup to take off some pressure.

    If Duda is also killing it spring he might turn to be the better trade chip since his contract is not much and the way he’s valued for his walks he might be able to get the pitcher the Sandy wants. So if Ike and Duda show up to battle then this good be a big benefit for the team if not one gets cut and the other goes to the minors.

  • WillisReid

    Even if you base Ike on his 32 HR potential, you have to acknowledge he hit .172 with a .225 OBP v LHP that year with 9 HR. A team trying to win games, which the Mets were not, won’t be playing him against lefties, so his 30 HR potential won’t quite amount to 30 HR.

  • Or Ike lunging at a bad pitch because it takes him 5 minutes to shake and twitch before he even tries to swing his bat. Ike was the epitome of a bad out.

  • B-Met Fan

    You can’t have it both ways, Salty. First, we criticize the guy because the is hitting in the tank and swinging at everything he sees. Then he returns from the minors to show some real plate discipline flashing a showy on-base-percentage and rather than give credit for a more disciplined plate approach, you’re going to claim he was scared to swing. The book on Davis was he swings at anything, so when he started laying off bad pitches, his walk and OBP rates soared. With more time, those numbers would have started to decline and his power numbers to rise because pitchers would have adjusted once again and Ike would have seen more good pitches. The plate discipline was a huge first step.

  • MetsMusings

    release him and end our misery!!!

  • Ike has earned the lack of faith in his abilities. Now it’s time to see if he can earn any sort of renewed faith and enthusiasm from fans, teammates, and the organization. The crazy thing is that he’s been so bad, that even if he tops out at average MLB 1B production, it would be a HUGE improvement and a BOON to our anemic lineup. That said, I still have more faith in Ike than Duda. So Ike-Satin platoon until mid-May when we’re ok with Flores getting everyday 1B at-bats seems fine to me.

  • RyanF55

    This is seriously starting to make me nauseous. ENOUGH! Ike Davis is going to be a Met when Spring Training rolls around and he’s going to have every chance to win the starting 1B job. He had a horrendous season last year, and it was obvious the struggles at the plate became a mental landslide. It painted him as lost and dumbfounded at the plate. A new year is a new year, and maybe a guy like Granderson, who is so positive and whom I’ve read can bring the best out of players, can give Ike the confidence he needed. Who knows? What I do know is Ike’s done it before, which means he can do it again. You don’t smash 30 HRs, playing at Citi, by accident. Defensively, its a no brainer that Ike is above and beyond the best option at 1B. If he can be anywhere near the player he can be, he’s above and beyond the best option.

    BOLD PRECTION: Ike’s 2014: .276, 31 HR, 97 RBIs ….hey, we can dream right! LGM!

  • roger roger

    Ike’s whole deal is mental. He has no confidence.

    If he can just get off to a reasonably hot start to the season, it could literally transform both him and the Mets at the same time. He has huge upside, and there’s plenty of depth (Wilmer Flores is ultimately a 1B, let’s face it) if he blows it again.

    If one of the teams out there surrenders a real pitching prospect, fine, we’ll take it. But otherwise – why not roll the dice one last time and see if he can get his head together? He has all that potential.

  • Cichlids n Vino

    Not really sure what the obsession is with Ike. He has so many flaws. He strikes out too much, has a terrible swing, hasn’t shown any consistency, ALLEGEDLY is uncoachable, ALLEGEDLY has an inflated opinion of himself (re: his rumored meltdown when he wasn’t called up), hasn’t shown the ability to stay healthy, and just pretty much sucked for the last 2 years. (Yet TdA is being labeled a bust by some after less than one season) Yet I suppose one year with a terrible average and a late surge that got him to this mystical 30 hr mark cures all his worts. All that said, he is still a better option than Duda. Let’s hope he can build up his value a bit and we can get a decent return for him.

  • The-rock-man

    Ike has been consumed by the dark side!

  • I don’t want it both ways. To me he was garbage before the demotion and garbage after. He was called up way to quickly and the only thing that changed was he was passive. Pitches just threw him garbage because he swung at everything, so before the scouts modified their approach Ike lucked out and got some walks. This passive approach was of no value to the Mets. He is there for his power.

    If he comes back and does this station to station offensive approach then DFA him. Even Sandy said the importance is in the HR and sited statistics regarding the importance of them and winning games. No one in the organization wants passive Ike and the only people that cheered it on where those who are grasping at straws and not coming to grips of the reality that he sucks.

  • Hi only value is he is currently shilling for Amway now.

  • It is not mental, he has very poor swing mechanics that make it very hard to hit anything with speed or something thrown inside.

  • WillisReid

    I’d rather see two walks than a golden sombrero 81 times out of 81.

  • roger roger

    Oh, so you’re an expert? Wow…

    I’m pretty sure he can hit pitches “with speed” since he’s a major league baseball player who’s had stretches of excellence, alternating with total cluelessness. Confidence is half the battle in all sports. Confidence has this amazing way of fixing a horrendous-looking swing, like some of the ones we’ve seen Ike take the past couple of years.

  • CyYout

    I was encouraged by his improved pitch recognition in the second half. And I agree that he has been humbled and with a new attitude, could be a very valuable piece going forward. If he burns the Mets again with a terrible first half then you know what you have and you can move on.

  • Nope but there are a lot of experts out there to learn from.

  • Here is his swing in 08 very different

  • roger roger

    So if his swing was different, he could change it again and theoretically have success. I’m not saying he will…

    None of these people like this Coach whatever guy know what the hell they’re talking about. They’re seeing a symptom, but they don’t understand the disease. When you play with confidence, your instincts and muscle memory take over and your body does what it inherently knows how to do. You hear athletes talk about it so much it’s a cliche, but half of all sports success is mental. Ike just has a look in his eye, in his body language, everything – he’s out before he even gets to the plate. He looks like Jason Bay up there.

  • BronxMets

    he comes to camp sucks he gets cut just this year please have a plan b

  • BronxMets

    he has mental issues but he also lacks talent

  • BronxMets

    its both

  • So no one knows what they are talking about except for you? Why the hell did they demote him last year then? Do you ever watch the games live? Keith has been railing against his approach along with many others. There is a serious issue with his swing that makes him late, if you can’t see that, then you are blind.

  • Both is a very fine response. I would be less confident too if I was getting crushed like that.

  • BronxMets

    if the guy speaking taught world history the entire class would be asleep

  • roger roger

    Correct, I’m the only one who knows what he’s talking about.

    IN all seriousness, yes I watched the games live, and yes, I was screaming at my TV to send him down a month before they finally did. I also thought they brought him back too soon.

    But what he did in the minors demonstrates (to some degree) my point: once the pressure was off, he performed. He played decently after he came back.

    I don’t think he lacks talent. Whether he can re-discover it or not, in my, personal, *expert* opinion, largely depends on whether he can get off to a good start to the season and regain his confidence.

  • mr. belvedere

    I want to start the 2014 Murphy and Flores for right side of the infield campaign…Duda should be traded for whatever and Ike should spend April and May in Vegas…Satin up with the Mets as the backup corner infielder

  • IndianaMet

    You are exactly right. He may come into this season completely prepared but if he K’s on opening day and gets booed (you know it will happen), his season may tank right there.
    Maybe the team can get him some Bobby Bo earplugs????
    I’m with you about giving him a chance. I do not understand why Flores did not play firstbase in winter ball. Why not have him prepared? What does it hurt?

  • mad met

    What i want is a real first basemen…what i would deal with for now is win the job between florez and ike. Duda sucks satin is a sub at best.

  • somedude718

    We can use a little positivity, here. Thanks, Kief.

  • Destry

    The inexplicable support for the worst 1B in baseball clearly shows how little people know about the game of baseball. I wonder if you just had a HR derby ESPN every night we could weed them out.

  • ParisWilponCOO

    I think we need to re-separate the leagues. Not even have a “World Series”- the AL can continue its descent towards 15-12 games with 10 HR’s so all the cretins can jump up and down as the ball flies over the fence. Might as well have the Kardashians do their play-by-play. The NL can go back to real baseball- move the Citi fences back, bury the Wilpons under them (alive if necessary) and let’s see some Mets baseball- pitching, defense, pitching, speed, pitching, timely hitting and oh yeah- pitching!

  • Destry

    Ha. Love it.

  • Tlagee

    I think it’s best for both Ike and the Mets that he is shipped off for a change of scenery. He can’t hit lefties at all and he struggles against righties. He has had a flawed swing for a couple of years now and has been given many opportunities to get it fixed.

    For the Mets to move to the next level they must let go of players like Duda, Tejada and Ike. Those three contributed greatly to the Mets being knocked out of competition by mid May last year. They are losers, as are Fred Jeff and Sandy if they keep rolling out flawed players like that year in and year out.

  • Kabeetz

    I agree Gerry. The risk/reward ratio favors keeping him at this time.