While a dismal 2012 campaign at Progressive Field continues to wind down, the Cleveland Indians are forced to look hard at the number of hitters and pitchers set to hit either the trade or free agent market this offseason.
And with the team likely interested in moving outfielder Shin-Soo Choo before his contract expires after the 2013 campaign, one of the names that may come of interest to the Indians is New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who currently has 27 home runs and 81 RBI. ESPN New York reported on Tuesday that Davis looks to be readily available this offseason for the right price due to a logjam at the position, and an All-Star like Choo would certainly be enough to perk the Mets' interest.
SB Nation's Cleveland Indians blog Let's Go Tribe is in agreement that Davis would be a major coup for Choo's expiring contract this winter, but isn't sure the Mets would be willing to trade a power hitter like Davis for what amounts to a one-year rental:
Which brings up the Indians. Although the last thing they need to be doing is to trade outfielders, they're likely to trade Shin-Soo Choo this winter because they aren't keeping him past the 2013 season; Choo isn't going to sign an extension with the club, and once he enters the free agent market, he isn't going to sign with his current team. So if the Indians have to deal Choo, getting a player like Davis back would be a nice return.
The problem is that the Mets aren't the type of club looking for a rental, as they're probably at least a couple years from contending. Theoretically a team from New York should be able to hold on to Choo past 2013, but the Mets payroll has looked mid-marketish the last couple of years, with this year's Opening Day payroll at $94.5M. So although Choo would represent a big upgrade in right field both offensively and defensively, he's only going to be there for one season.
Though Davis opened the season ice-cold with a .154 average over the first two months, he bounced back in a huge way with a 15 home runs and 39 RBI in June and July combined. Still just 25 years old despite being in his third MLB season, Davis has elite power hitter written all over him. There's no question that a move like this would benefit the Indians over the long haul considering their glaring need for a first baseman, but only time will tell if Davis is one of the handful of players that the organization targets this winter.
Be sure to stay with this StoryStream for more Indians trade talk, and head over to Let's Go Tribe for more news and analysis on Cleveland baseball. Also check out Baseball Nation for more coverage from around the league.