The Oakland Athletics are expected to not make that many moves this offseason. With a fully stocked farm system and some young rookies in the current lineup who are performing well, it seems as though next year’s team is already locked down. However, there are always a few moves the A’s could make and one of them should be trading first baseman Ike Davis.
Davis has been ok during his first year with the green and gold. He was definitely great defensively – perhaps even Gold Glove worthy. The Oakland Athletics have never had a true first baseman like Davis before, and they benefited greatly from his fielding skills. However, his offense was nothing to be desired.
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Despite having a power bat in the past, Davis only batted .229 with the Athletics this season. Additionally, he did land on the disabled list twice – once in May and the more recent stint, which started in late August. He has now undergone season ending hip surgery, but is expected to be healthy for spring training. His absence is not a problem for the A’s though.
Oakland has too many first baseman including Mark Canha, Max Muncy, Jake Smolinski, Stephen Vogt, and Billy Butler. Two of these players are accustomed to playing at first while the other three are adequate fielders in this position. There is really no room for Davis when he returns, especially since rookie Canha is having such a successful second half. If Canha continues being productive and improves his fielding ability at first with the help of Ron Washington, then the likelihood of him being the starting first baseman in 2016 is high.
Even though Davis is a potential non-tendered candidate and Oakland does not need to resign him even though he is not a free agent until 2017, the A’s should try to trade him anyways this offseason.
First of all, the A’s need some more consistent arms in the bullpen. Davis will not be a hot commodity on the trade market, but he could be moved for an unknown reliever. The Athletics do not need a superstar in their bullpen. Just someone who can be consistent and reliable in the sixth and seventh innings. The Athletics are notorious for finding players that are not well known who happen to blossom once coming to Oakland – look at Jesse Chavez for example. Perhaps Billy Beane can do some digging around and find another diamond in the rough.
Secondly, perhaps Oakland could use Davis to continue building their farm system. They have been continuously talking about how they are constructing a team for the future. Why not stock up on some more players? Even if the prospects they choose were high draft round picks, they may eventually become successfully like Ryan Dull who was drafted in the 32nd round in 2012.
Despite his injury, Davis is a veteran player and is suppose to be healthy by spring training. If the Athletics can market him as an experience ballplayer and a plus defenseman, there are some teams who are going to want to take a look at Davis as perhaps a backup first baseman. The A’s should not just let Davis go – they should try to strengthen their team anyway possible.