HomeMLB RumorsMets Among Teams Showing Interest In J.D. Davis

Mets Among Teams Showing Interest In J.D. Davis

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The Mets are among the teams that have inquired about free agent third baseman J.D. Davis, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post (X link). Seven teams have shown interest since Davis was released by the Giants, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who adds that the veteran infielder should sign in the next few days.

Davis’ late entry to the free agent market offers a low-cost opportunity for teams to bolster their third base depth before Opening Day. The 29 other clubs passed on the chance to assume a $6.9MM arbitration tab via waivers over the weekend. Davis is almost certainly going to sign for one year at a modest base salary, but he should find a major league deal and could get a starting job.

While his time in San Francisco ended on a contentious, unceremonious note, Davis is coming off a career-high workload. He appeared in 144 games and surpassed 500 plate appearances last season for the first time as a big leaguer. He connected on 18 homers and had a roughly league average .248/.325/.413 batting line. That’s well below the .276/.363/.457 slash which he compiled in more than 1200 trips to the plate between 2019-22.

Davis has 20-homer power and draws walks at a strong rate. He strikes out a little more often than the average hitter and has hit just under .250 in three of the last four seasons. He’s not a great defender, but public metrics were divided on his 915 2/3 innings at the hot corner last year. Defensive Runs Saved graded him well below par (-11 runs), while Statcast estimated he was four runs better than average.

Perhaps no team is more familiar with the 30-year-old than the Mets. Davis played in Queens between 2019 and the ’22 trade deadline, when New York swapped him to the Giants as part of a four-player package for Darin Ruf. The Mets haven’t gotten much out of the third base position since that point. Only the A’s had lesser offensive production there last season. Mets third basemen (primarily Brett Baty and the since-traded Eduardo Escobar) combined for a .212/.266/.324 showing.

New York’s only MLB infield acquisitions this winter have been a $2MM flier on utility player Joey Wendle and a waiver claim for Zack Short. They lost Ronny Mauricio, who might have been the starter at third, for the season when he tore his ACL in winter ball. Baty is expected to get the lion’s share of playing time as the Mets evaluate whether the former top prospect should be an everyday player in 2025 and beyond. New York is expected to take a similar look at Mark Vientos as the primary designated hitter, although he’ll also rotate through third base on occasion.

Signing Davis would raise the floor at either third base or DH and reduce the team’s reliance on both Baty and Vientos. The front office doesn’t seem to consider that an absolute must — they’ve proceeded deep into the spring without meaningfully addressing the position — but they’ve kept lines of communication open with veterans who could provide a short-term upgrade. That has been most apparent in their wait on J.D. Martinez, with whom they’re still in contact.

SNY’s Andy Martino tweets that the Mets consider Davis a better fit for the roster than Martinez because of his ability to play defense. He’d also be a lot more affordable. He received a little over $1.1MM in termination pay from the Giants and seems likely to command just a few million dollars at this stage of spring. The Mets are paying a 110% tax on spending, so a hypothetical $3MM salary for Davis would cost them around $6.3MM overall. He has over five years of major league service, so he’d return to the open market next winter assuming he signs a one-year contract.

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