At about the same time that pinch hitter Ike Davis‘ walk-off grand slam landed in the right field seats at Citi Field Saturday, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson should have picked up the phone and called Brian Cashman, writes Anthony Rieber of Newsday.
The Yankees and Mets haven’t made a trade since 2004 when the Mets sent Mike Stanton to the Yankees in exchange for Felix Heredia, but Rieber argues both sides would benefit in an Ike Davis for Dellin Betances swap.
Betances, 26, is a hard-throwing righthander that might be able to come in and do what Vic Black was supposed to do for the Mets bullpen – throw strikes and get outs.
At 6 foot-8 inches, this Brooklyn, New York native is as imposing as Noah Syndergaard on the mound and is coming off a solid Spring Training that saw him hit 97 mph with his fastball while posting a 0.73 ERA.
In 2013, Betances struck out 108 batters in 84.0 innings pitched for the Yankees’ Triple-A team with a 2.68 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.
Like Bobby Parnell, Betances features a knuckle curve in his arsenal that averages 82.6 mph according to FanGraphs. And he combines that with fastball that averages 95.1 mph and a cutter that averages 96.9 mph.
The Yankees need a first baseman to replace Mark Teixeira who hit the disabled list again on Saturday with a hamstring injury, and Davis’ lefty swing is made for Yankee Stadium, writes Rieber. When Teixeira returns, either he or Davis could get at-bats as the DH — a luxury the Mets don’t have with Davis and Lucas Duda except for interleague road games.
Rieber points out something I’ve alluded to a few times during the offseason and that is the front office’s fear of watching Ike Davis become a productive power hitter for another team.
Alderson tried during the offseason but never found a deal to his liking. That could be a case of more Mets hedging, though. Was Alderson really unable to find a quality deal, or are the Mets just too afraid Davis will blossom elsewhere?
It’s a shame that neither Duda or Davis were able to distinguish themselves as everyday players this past Spring because of injuries. But it is what it is…
Sooner or later the Mets are going to have to make a decision here… I can’t see them continuing along this path for an entire season. The two home runs by Duda and the grand slam by Davis were nice to see this past weekend, but let’s not pretend that it will be like that for the rest of the season. Something’s gotta give.
As for this hypothetical trade proposal by Rieber, I don’t know what to make of it. I guess I’m wanting something more for Ike. But I bet Yankee fans will take one look at Davis’ numbers and feel the same apprehension about trading Betances for him.