The Red Sox don't have a first baseman for 2013. The Mets might be looking to install a new first baseman in 2013, with Lucas Duda taking over the role from Ike Davis. As you might have surmised from this information and the headline, this means the Mets are potentially looking to deal Ike Davis, their current first baseman.
The Mets will consider trading Ike Davis this offseason as a way to upgrade other areas of the team and open a spot for Lucas Duda at his natural position, a baseball source told ESPNNewYork.com.
While that does not guarantee Davis will be moved, it at least is a very plausible option. Davis should be marketable despite a slow start because he is a 30-homer threat with the potential for above-average fielding at first base.
Davis had a rough first half of the year, putting together a .201/.271/.388 line that showed power, but struck out 26 percent of the time and posted a .233 batting average on balls in play. He's rebounded since, and performed much more like the Ike Davis people expect since, posting a .251/.342/.562 line. There's also his home park, which is somewhat problematic for power: Davis has hit just .244/.320/.438 at Citi Field, and .262/.356/.477 on the road, including .258/.328/.562 this year.
That's all well and good, especially when you consider Davis is still just 25 years old, and isn't entering arbitration until next season, giving whoever ends up with him three years of team control during peak seasons. There are problems, of course -- why else would the Mets be willing to deal Davis, who has these things going for him?
The Mets are disappointed with Davis' unwillingness to make changes based on coaching advice. Although he is personable and by no means a troublemaker, they also worry -- fairly or unfairly -- he is out too late after games, and that could influence other young players.
Maybe getting out of New York, where hey, the bars don't close, is enough to fix this issue -- assuming issue is even a strong enough word for it. And maybe someone like Dave Magadan, who doesn't try to change hitters so much as tweak existing approaches, will be able to coach Davis in a way the Mets haven't. That's a lot of hypotheticals, though, and there will be a cost for Davis, given his potential, and the fact the Mets don't need to deal him.
Boston could sit out, but their options for 2013 are limited at first. There's just the one prospect who might be able to man the position (Travis Shaw), and that won't be for at least another season, if not more, or at all. Is Davis someone the Red Sox should be interested in acquiring? At what cost?
Remember: the alternative might be James Loney.