Mets bench Ike Davis and still want to trade him

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Mets manager Terry Collins has decided to give Lucas Duda an extended look as the regular first baseman, leaving Ike Davis on the bench, and Andy Martino of the New York Daily News writes that they “still see trading Davis as the likely endgame.”

Of course, the Mets have been trying to trade Davis for months. There were stories about it in every New York media outlet basically every week for the entire offseason.

Davis is making $3.5 million this season and the Mets have him under team control for 2015 and 2016 as well, so they aren’t looking to just give him away. Or at least they haven’t tried to do that so far or he’d probably be on the Pirates or something.

It’s also worth noting that Duda has hit just .230 with a .735 OPS in 224 games since the beginning of 2012. For all the focus on how much Davis has struggled, he has a .730 OPS during that same time and it’d be hard to argue that he doesn’t have more upside than Duda (for whatever that’s worth).

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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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.