Mets place Ike Davis on DL, call up Fernando Martinez

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Ike Davis was hopeful that he could return to the lineup after missing just a few days with his calf injury, but the Mets have placed him on the disabled list … and are now calling it a left ankle sprain and bone bruise.

Calf, ankle. Same difference.

To replace Davis on the roster Fernando Martinez has been called up from Triple-A. Despite seemingly being around forever Martinez is still just 22 years old, but his prospect stock has gradually declined during the past couple seasons.

However, he was hitting .292 with three homers and an .838 OPS in 19 games at Triple-A prior to the call-up, which is very nice production for a 22-year-old in a league where the average player in 26. Martinez’s lack of strike-zone control and plate discipline remain stumbling blocks for his development, but he’s shown 20-homer power while hitting .275 between Double-A and Triple-A despite being very young for each stop.

He won’t be able to replace Davis’ production, as the first baseman was hitting .302 with seven homers and a .925 OPS in 36 games, but Martinez may finally be ready to contribute positively this time around while Daniel Murphy likely sees most of the action at first base and Willie Harris and Justin Turner split time at second base.

Free agent market slow, but players who have signed have exceeded expectations

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The winter meetings are near the end — many execs are leaving Vegas tonight — and once again, the free agent market has moved rather slowly. Last year’s free agent market was perhaps the slowest in recent memory. This offseason, only 11 multi-year contracts have been signed by free agents to date. Six have been for two years, three have been for three years, one for four years, and one for six years.

Despite another slowly-moving free agent market, the players are optimistic because those that have signed contracts have exceeded expectations in terms of total value, per Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal. Patrick Corbin got $140 million, Nathan Eovaldi got $68 million, Andrew McCutchen got $50 million. Heck, even Lance Lynn coming off of a bad year got $30 million from the Rangers.

For comparison, as the offseason began, Fancred’s insider Jon Heyman (and an unnamed “expert”) made predictions about what the various free agent markets would get. Heyman and the expert predicted $100 million and $85 million, respectively, for Corbin, who got $140 million. They predicted $45 million and $64 million, respectively, for Eovaldi, who got $68 million. And they foresaw $39 million and $60 million for McCutchen, who got $50 million. Heyman predicted Charlie Morton would take the $17.9 million qualifying offer and the expert predicted he’d sign a one-year, $17 million deal. Morton got two years and $30 million. Heyman predicted 2/$16M for Lance Lynn and the expert only went a million higher at 2/$17M. He got 3/$30M.

Heyman isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so let’s also glance at the predictions from MLB Trade Rumors. 6/$129M for Corbin, 4/$60M for Eovaldi, 3/$45M for McCutchen, 2/$32M for Morton, and 2/$16M for Lynn. MLBTR hit a lot closer to the center of the dartboard, so to speak, but generally the players still got a bit more than anticipated, which is good, and justifies the optimism. Hopefully the trend continues over the coming two or three months.

Going forward, though, we probably should adjust our expectations of the winter meetings. Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times brought up a great point, tweeting, “One problem with the Winter Meetings is they are still marketed as a news-making event at a time when executives no longer feel urgency to make news at said event.” All of the execs and journalists have access to one another via cell phones, so it’s become more of a hobnobbing event than a place to wheel and deal. These days, a deal could just as easily happen in the days leading up to or following the winter meetings. Maybe it’s just the new normal that we’ll be going into February with handfuls of free agents still looking for a new home.