Just as spring training is starting to get underway for the New York Mets and the competition for the first base job between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda is about to officially begin, rumors have started to surface once again that teams are looking to acquire Davis in a trade. Both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles are said to be monitoring Davis this spring, but at this point it’s too late for the Mets to entertain the idea of trading him.
The Mets spent much of their offseason trying to find a trade partner willing to acquire Davis, but because general manager Sandy Alderson was unwilling to come down on his price a deal never materialized — and now it’s too late. Since Davis and the rest of the team are already in camp, the Mets need to follow through with their plan to have Davis and Duda compete for a chance to be the Mets’ opening-day first baseman. There’s no reason to change the situation or change Duda’s mindset by handing him the job which would be the case if Davis were traded.
Moreover, little has changed to increase Davis’ trade value since earlier in the offseason, so the Mets are unlikely to have their price for Davis met. Davis is more valuable to the Mets as a member of the team in spring training than he is on the trade market. The Mets can re-examine the trade market for Davis late in spring training, but in the meantime they need to follow through with their plan for a spring training competition between he and Duda.
By allowing him to report to camp after an offseason full of rumors, the Mets’ window to trade Davis closed. Now they owe him the chance to compete and prove to them that he can still be their first baseman of the future. That window could reopen later in the spring depending on how the competition between Davis and Duda shakes out, but right now there is no point in the Mets trading Davis this early in spring training despite rumors re-surfacing about teams being interested in him.