Ike Davis has to prove himself again to Mets
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PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. -- Ike Davis and the Mets avoided arbitration and agreed to a $3.5-million contract Thursday. But there's no guarantee that Davis still will be a Met when the season opens March 31.
The Mets have talked about trading Davis this offseason, but nothing has happened. The pool of teams needing a first baseman seems to have shrunk to one (the Pirates) with the Brewers nearing a deal Thursday night with former Yankee Mark Reynolds.
"Yeah, I would like to stay,'' Davis told Newsday Thursday night. "Obviously, sometimes dreams don't come true because they don't want you to stay. But like I've said before, you always dream about playing with the same team the entire time in your whole career. That's the goal. Not a lot of people get to do that, though.''
Does Davis feel as if the Mets don't want him to stay? He said he hasn't spoken with a team official since last season, other than some pleasantries at David Wright's wedding last month.
When he heads to spring training Feb. 8 or 9, he will compete with Lucas Duda for the first-base job.
"I think that obviously they wanted me to play like I can,'' said Davis, who was demoted to Triple-A for a portion of last season and hit .205 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 103 games for the Mets.
"They don't want the player like I played last year. They drafted me in the first round for a reason, they brought me up really soon [in 2010] for a reason. I performed pretty well for 2 1/2 years . . . then I had a shortened season that was pretty bad last year.
"Obviously, if they could have gotten some decent pitching talent [in a trade], why not? I get the thought process. If they think they have a similar player in Lucas, why not get someone else who can help our team instead of having two of the same people? I could see where they're coming from.''
Still, Davis would prefer to make it in New York. When told by a reporter of Reynolds' imminent deal with the Brewers, Davis said: "If this buys me a month, I don't know what's going to happen in the future. But I'm happy to still be a Met.''
Davis spent much of 2013 tinkering with his swing and stance. He hopes that is all behind him going into spring training.
"That's the plan,'' he said. "It's funny. I think I have a better approach going in this year than I did last year with what I want to do. It's about time I actually start out hot one of these times and have a good year.''