Ike Davis has struggled all season, hitting just .163 after missing most of last year with an ankle injury, but manager Terry Collins repeatedly made it very clear that the Mets had no intention of demoting the first baseman to the minors.
And then yesterday Collins’ tune changed a bit, according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger.
When asked about Davis’ status, Collins replied: “There is nothing etched in stone. We will never say something’s not going to happen.”
Jason Bay is due back from the disabled list fairly soon and Collins has already said he’ll resume starting in left field, which could push Kirk Nieuwenhuis to right field and potentially move Lucas Duda to first base. Which would also mean Davis going to the bench or Triple-A at age 25.
Before being shut down last season Davis played 36 games and hit .302 with seven homers, eight doubles, and a .925 OPS. He’s played 38 games so far this season, hitting .163 with five homers, four doubles, and a .524 OPS. So much of the power is still there, but Davis is having very poor luck getting singles to drop and he’s also struggling to control the strike zone with a 39/10 K/BB ratio.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.