According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Mets and first baseman Ike Davis have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
Davis, who was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter, will receive a slight increase in salary from the $3.125 million he made last year. Of course, that’s mostly a function of the process, as his .205/.326/.334 batting line from 2013 didn’t exactly scream raise.
The Mets have discussed trade scenarios involving Davis this winter, most notably with the Brewers and Orioles, but they haven’t found a taker yet. That could change in the coming weeks, but the 26-year-old will compete with Lucas Duda for the first base job during spring training assuming he sticks around. 2014 is a big year for Davis, as he figures to be a non-tender candidate next offseason if he doesn’t bounce back.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.