Report: Mets turned down O’s offer of Zach Britton-for-Ike Davis over winter

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Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets see trading Ike Davis as the “as the likely endgame” and today he dropped an interesting nugget about a proposal the team turned down over the winter:

My reporting on Friday led me to these conclusions: Just as in the offseason, the Mets are eager to move Davis — but also just as in the offseason, they want a decent return. Despite their preference for Duda, the Mets have declined several trade proposals for Davis in recent months, including Baltimore’s offer of pitcher Zach Britton, according to a person briefed on talks between the two clubs (that person said the Orioles now consider that deal off the table).

With his elite ground ball rate, Britton could have been an asset as a back-end starter or middle reliever, but the Mets reportedly aimed higher for Davis, asking the Orioles for prospect left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez. They didn’t bite and it appears that Baltimore has moved on. For what it’s worth, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported in February that the Mets turned down a deal from the Rays over the winter that would have netted them outfielder Matt Joyce. Of course, that was before the Rays re-signed James Loney.

The Mets are currently giving Lucas Duda a trial run as their starting first baseman. So far, so good, as he launched a pair of two-run homers last night against the Reds to propel New York to their first victory of the season. Dealing Davis might be the endgame here, but his trade value isn’t going to improve on the bench.

UPDATE: A game-winning grand slam might improve his value. Just call this a perfectly-timed post.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner had his left leg amputated

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Mark Lerner, son of Ted Lerner and a co-owner of the Washington Nationals, had his left leg amputated earlier this month. He was diagnosed earlier this year for a rare form of cancer that a attacks connective tissue and treatment had been ineffective, so doctors removed the limb.

The news was revealed in the form of a letter Lerner wrote to Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga, who had inquired about Lerner’s uncharacteristic absence from the ballpark of late. Lerner:

“With my doctors and medical team, we decided that amputation of that leg was my best choice to maintain the active and busy lifestyle that I have always enjoyed. The limb was removed in early August and I’m healing well, cancer-free, and looking forward to my eventual new prosthetic.”

Lerner, 63, has been known to dress up in a Nats uniform and shag fly balls with the team during batting practice. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and, if his prosthetic allows, some more BP shagging at some point in the future.

New Marlins owners are going to dump David Samson, keep the home run sculpture

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The Miami Herald reports that the future Miami Marlins owners, Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, have informed Major League Baseball that they do not intend to retain current team president David Samson. Derek Jeter will replace him as the person in charge of baseball and business operations.

Samson has been a polarizing figure in Miami and has been seen as Jeff Loria’s front-facing presence in many ways. He led the effort for the team to get its new stadium, which led to political scandal and outrage in Miami (not that he didn’t get his stadium). In 2014, he appeared on “Survivor.” He did not survive.

What will survive, however, is the famous home run sculpture in the outfield at Marlins Park. You’ll recall some reports earlier this week that Sherman and Jeter were thinking about removing it. If so, they’ll have a lot of hurdles to jump, because yesterday the Miami-Dade County government reminded them that it was paid for by its Art in Public Places program, it is thus owned by the county and that it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.

I know a lot of people hate that thing, but it has grown on me over the years. Not for its own aesthetic sake as much for its uniqueness and whimsy, which are two things that are in extraordinarily short supply across the Major League Baseball landscape. Like a lot of new and different bits of art and architecture over the course of history, I suspect its initial loathing will increasingly come to be replaced by respect and even pride. Especially if the Marlins ever make another World Series run, in which case everything associated with the club will be elevated in the eyes of fans.

On this score, Sherman and Jeter will thank Miami-Dade for saving themselves from themselves one day.