As spring training approaches so might the anxiety level of several New York Mets, all understanding this can be a make-or-break season for at least four of them.
* Let’s first start with the obvious, Ike Davis, whom the Mets had been trying to trade this winter. The Mets’ inability to trade Davis stems from their highly publicized efforts to do so, their high asking price and the glut in the first base market.
Davis struggled through two miserable first halves, and knows his high-propensity for striking out and poor overall hitting approach is wearing thin with GM Sandy Alderson. He knows he can’t produce another .205 average, nine-homer season won’t cut it and the Mets won’t offer arbitration again.
* Ruben Tejada was on the way out as the starting shortstop, but Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew wanted too much. Alderson said despite speculation Drew is out of their plans.
Tejada ended the season with a fractured leg, but recovered and worked out twice at a Michigan fitness camp. His effort in Ann Arbor impressed manager Terry Collins, but Tejada needs to show it at the plate and not let his concentration wander in the field.
* Jon Niese as last season’s Opening Day starter. He won his first two starts, but things quickly unraveled following back-to-back sub-32 degree starts in Minneapolis and Denver. Tightness in his back led to shoulder discomfort that forced him on the disabled list.
Niese made only 24 starts and finished 8-8 after winning 13 games in 2012 while pitching while throwing 190.1 innings over 30 starts.
Niese is signed through 2017, and while the Mets have an investment in him, they do get the occasional phone call inquiring.
* Travis d’Arnaud was supposed to get the starting job early last season, but an injury pushed his promotion back. He was one of the key pieces in the R.A. Dickey trade with Toronto.
There are issues with his ability to call a game, block pitches, and above all, his offense.
He had such a small window of opportunity in 2013 that the Mets wouldn’t pull him after a Davis-like start. At least, you wouldn’t think so.
However, if d’Arnaud has a miserable season wire-to-wire, the Mets would listen to proposals, but by that time his value would have dropped.
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