The Duda-Davis dilemma is still prevalent

Duda DavisOne could argue that Sandy Alderson’s offseason moves have all been admirable. Certainly the signings of Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Bartolo Colon all improve the team. All those moves were necessary, as Alderson needed to find a way to replace the value of Matt Harvey and Marlon Byrd. Whether or not he replaced their value, we don’t know yet, but at least he made an attempt to do so. Despite Alderson’s success in making smart free-agent signings, there is one area he has failed to address, which is first base.

If you look at almost any Mets-related blog –including this site– there is probably an article about how Lucas Duda and Ike Davis cannot co-exist at first base. The problem is glaring. The Mets have a logjam at first base. Alderson has made attempts at fixing the problem. He has tried to make deals with the Brewers, who needed a first baseman, but the reports were that Alderson was asking for too much in return for Davis.

The problem seems to be that the Mets still think that Davis has a lot of potential, and therefore value him greatly, while other teams just see Davis as a guy who can only hit a couple of dingers. There has been pressure to move Davis, however Alderson simply has not found the right price for him — which in a general manager can be a good thing because at least he’s not giving into the pressures of the fanbase.

At the same time, if he knows he can’t command what he wants for Davis, then he should have tried a little harder to work out a deal. Alderson presumably made some attempt to move Duda, but his intentions likely were to keep Duda as the first baseman for 2014, and that’s why we heard more about Davis being moved than Duda.

There is still sometime left in the offseason, and a trade could very well go down. However, we are also 26 days away from spring training, and the likelihood of a trade happening seems pretty low. Essentially, the Mets have the same issue that has been plaguing them for the past three years, and I don’t think it’s fair to either of the players. It’s not fair to Davis because the Mets seem to be stringing him along in hopes that he will break out like Chris Davis did, or at least rediscover his ability to make contact. It’s not fair to Duda because he has the potential to give the Mets 20-25 home runs a year, but that is only valuable if he is playing first base.

The scariest part about this dilemma is that, according to Terry Collins, Duda is being considered to be used in an outfield platoon. It’s almost as if the Mets haven’t learned their lesson of the past three years. Duda cannot play the outfield. Duda is the seventh-worst outfielder in the majors according to FanGraphs Defense, with a mark of -16.5. Only Raul Ibanez, Carlos Beltran, Chris Carter, Michael Cuddyer, Daniel Nava, and Oswaldo Arcia are worse defensive outfielders than Duda. Duda is not an outfielder. He’s a first baseman, but it seems like yet again the front office is going to try to hide him in the outfield.

Alderson has done a lot of things right this offseason. From a free-agent perspective this is far and away his best offseason. However, he has failed to address the issue at first base, making his offseason mediocre.

11 comments for “The Duda-Davis dilemma is still prevalent

  1. Kookie
    February 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Murphy at first, Young at second.

    • Joe Vasile
      February 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      No, thank you. Whoever is more productive of Davis/Duda at first, Murph at 2nd and Young on the bench.

  2. Sean Flattery
    February 2, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    It’s odd to see Carlo Beltran’s name amongst that list.

  3. blastingzone
    February 2, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Murphy at first Flores at 2nd? The problem is the double D’s Duda & Davis are both lefthanded
    and that will never work! I have been saying move Murphy to first for three months now and
    give Flores a real shot at 2nd but if the mets are serious about giving Flores a shot at SS
    then play EY at 2nd and trade both Davis & Duda and use Satin off the bench!

  4. eraff
    February 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    “…a logjam at First Base”…..??????….. There is not one player on this roster who we *Know* to be capable of playing the position. Mneh—maybe I’m being picky.

    They have a lot of crap at 1st base…they’re gonna fling it around and see if any of it sticks.

  5. TexasGusCC
    February 2, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    It is very surprising that Duda is considered a better outfielder than Beltran, Cuddyer, and Nava because Duda cannot judge a fly ball. Folks, it’s time to stop the farce that has become Mets baseball.
    Want to try something in the spring? Why not? Flores at SS is a good trial. Duda in outfielder is a disaster. Davis vs. Duda: winner goes to New York, laser goes to Las Vegas.
    How does Collins say that Lagares and CY will compete for CF, if Young has be npromised 600 plate appearances?
    This is what I mean about this farce of a team.

  6. footballhead
    February 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    It really is so dissapointing how non-creative and unimaginative Collins and Alderson has been these past years. I do agree with TexasGusCC that spring training is the only time to experiment however. Duda vs Ike at 1B, winner takes all! If were lucky, they’ll BOTH do well enough that there value goes up then a trade can be made. If they both suck, then dump them both, and either put Flores or Murphy at 1B. Flores at SS? Really? OK, try it out, but in the end go with my previous sentiment. And just hinting that Duda goes to the outfield should get Management a dope-slap by the fans and media. We already have four capable outfielders in Young, Young Jr., Lagares, and Granderson. I personally want Lagares glove in CF unless he doesn’t improve at all with the bat (he will). We need quality bats in this lineup, but I doubt if Collins is capable of the juggling act needed to maximize what this squad could do.
    I hope for the best, but I knew that the season was doomed when Collins was given an extension. Unlike others, I never thought the bullpen personnel has been awful…..just how they were used by this manager.

    Editor’s note – Please do not capitalize words in your post as it is a violation of our Comment Policy.

    • February 5, 2014 at 2:14 am

      I’m surprised BJ has not deleted your “caps”. Great for emphasis but not for Mets 360
      TexasGus. If Mets management had any clue they would’ve asked Flores to play SS in winter ball. But then that would be asking for the team to have some concept of common sense.

  7. Chris F
    February 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    That Alderson created an unnecessary problem in the outfield, and failed to solve the genuine dilemma at 1B and SS is shameful. There is no way Alderson’s off season could be considered as all “admirable” by anyone with any baseball sense, like you point out.

    I would like to add that Murphy is a second baseman. He is arguably among the best in baseball, certainly in the top third of all players. Moving him around like a chess pawn fails to recognize what strides he has made since that August day against the Braves when his knee took it one more time. He consistently is a decent average hitter, and nearly played defense on the dirt this past season. Adding him (and Flores) to the 1B matter just goes to show what a clown show the situation is. eraff and Gus, I completely agree with both of you. It also explains why this team is still a 70-75 Win team.

  8. Metsense
    February 3, 2014 at 7:07 am

    In the National League you can only play one first baseman at a time.
    How come going to fitness camp made Tejada a shortstop and Duda a forgotten man?
    Could Ike have used a fitness camp to work on the ankle?
    Why does it take Three Years to decide who is the first baseman?
    A team that would want to compete would have probably traded both of them out at the top of their value realizing neither is the solution and moved on.
    Why wasn’ t Davis traded for Matt Joyce or Aoki which would have made the Chris Young signing unnecessary.
    Who is the backup for the 114 game Tejada and why is he even the starting shortstop?

  9. Patrick Albanesius
    February 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

    If Flores doesn’t have the range to play shortstop, how do we know he’ll have the range to play first? He’ll still have to field and beat guys to the bag. It might be the best option for him, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be any good there.

    Trying Flores at SS and Eric Young, Jr. at 2B is a big risk for the middle of your infield since neither has much time at those positions. If we started the season with those two, I’d be pretty nervous. But who knows, creativity might win out.

    It seems like this fitness camp has been doing wonders for everyone who attends. Great! But why is this a new thing?

    I was surprised to see Beltran and Nava on the list, but I’m guessing it’s because of limited range.

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