Speaking to WFAN Wednesday afternoon, New York Mets manager Terry Collins admitted that first base is a platoon job.
Incumbent Ike Davis entered the season expecting to build on last year’s strong finish. Instead, nonexistent power numbers and an inability to hit off speed pitches landed him briefly in triple-A Las Vegas. Small Sample Size notwithstanding, Davis hasn’t done much since returning to suggest he’ll turn back into a 30-plus home run hitter. Meanwhile, Josh Satin continues to vulture at-bats against lefties.
Davis is in his second arbitration year, and due another raise. He’s about to get very expensive and may be a non-tender candidate after the season. Satin has earned his ABs so far, but power isn’t a part of his game.
The obvious question: Is the Mets first baseman of the future currently on this roster?
Kendrys Morales (Photo credit (John F. Rhodes/AP)
The trade market is thin, but Sandy has surprised us before.
The Seattle Mariners active offseason hasn’t worked for them. They brought in several veterans on one year contracts (also the outfield fences), but as a team they currently rank 13th in the American League in batting average and runs per game. Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse are both playing in their walk year. Neither name is sexy, but both offer something the Mets lack: power.
Morales is the better defender and would cost more in a trade, as veteran switch hitters are commodities in the middle of a lineup. His .348 wOBA is 60 points better than all Mets first basemen this year. That’s a considerable improvement.
The Mariners also have their own disappointing FBOTF in Justin Smoak, and he’s never shown the power the M’s expected when they for traded for him. If GM Jack Zduriencik decides to move forward with one of his veterans, Alderson could try to buy low on the former first-round pick.
Over in the AL Central, The Detroit Tigers are sweating for a closer and the Mets just happen to have one. Alderson remains firm that he will not trade Bobby Parnell at the deadline, but that might not be wise. Relief pitchers are unstable assets.
Any talks between the Tigers and Mets would have to start with triple-A prospect Nick Castellanos. He’s learning to play the outfield, but he’s already a strong third baseman. Unfortunately for him, Miguel Cabrera also plays there. In New York, Castellanos could slide into a corner outfield spot, or (and I know this is crazy) maybe first base. He’s a plus hitter, with strong on-base skills and above average power. And best of all, he wouldn’t be a rebuilding move as he’s essentially MLB-ready. That would make Ike Davis either a trade chip for a team in need of left-handed bat, or a non tender after the season.
Of course another option for the Mets is resident man-without-a-position Wilmer Flores. He’s on fire in Las Vegas with a .318/.356/.514 line. He leads the Pacific Coast League in RBIs and doubles, but the Mets still see him exclusively as a second baseman.