The Mets are coming to the realization that they are not going to get much in return via trade for Ike Davis. With Lucas Duda being named the starter (at least for now), one does have to wonder… was the signing of Bobby Abreu a harbinger of Ike’s ultimate release?
Sandy Alderson commented earlier in the week that Bobby could be a guy off the bench at some point this season. At the time of the initial signing, it seemed a bit of a head scratcher… Abreu? Really? Why?
Let’s take a look at how the Mets bench currently looks:
Then there’s Ike Davis.
Had Ike been named the Starting First Baseman, then Lucas Duda could have been the left handed hitting power bat off the bench that could also serve as the 5th outfielder. As the roster currently stands, there is no 5th outfielder unless Josh Satin was used in that role.
The 5th outfielder wouldn’t be used a tremendous amount other than a pinch hitter and very occasionally player in that role, but it is a role to be filled. Duda wasn’t a good outfielder, but he could be put there in an emergency basis. Ike isn’t playing the outfield. If Lucas is going to be called the official First Baseman, they aren’t going to be flipping him into the outfield from time to time. When Chris Young is ready to come off the DL, that will likely bump Andrew Brown back to the minors and the 4-man rotation in the outfield will come into play.
The team will still want a left handed bat off the bench, preferably with some pop in it. How much (if any) pop Bobby has left is up in the air, but he still gets on base. He can also be put into the outfield on an as-needed basis (which won’t be often). Simply from a roster flexibility standpoint, with Duda as the starting first baseman, Abreu makes more sense on the roster than Davis. Were Davis the starting first baseman, it would make more sense to have Duda in that role and Abreu may never have been signed.
Alderson admitted last Thursday that Abreu was signed because they love his approach. Right now, he is in AAA. He’s where the Mets can keep an eye on him and Wally Backman can provide feedback as to if Abreu has anything left in the tank to offer the Mets. If it turns out he does, can Bobby’s signing be the Bell that Tolls for Ike?
Or did his clutch Grand Slam win him a reprieve?