Outside Perspectives on the 1B Market: Davis, Duda, Chavez, Smoak, Morales

It’s not a crisis.

Yes, the Winter Meetings have ended and the Pirates only left-handed option for their first-base platoon is rookie Andrew Lambo. But there are no games scheduled for December 12, so . . .

It’s not a crisis – - yet.

I have written about the Pirates first base options and posted projections for how those players will hit versus right-handed pitchers in 2014. But I thought it might be interesting to see what some Blogs for other teams are saying about those options:

Robbie Knopf of RaysColoredGlasses is thinking like me. He writes that third-baseman Eric Chavez might make sense at 1B in Tampa Bay.

Paul West of ThroughThe FenceBaseball.com believes that the Mets should give Lucas Duda a chance to play up to his considerable potential.

Steve Kinsella of SportsTalkFlorida explores how the Mariners acquisitions of Corey Hart and Logan Morrison impact the Rays plans for 1B.

Dominic DeFucci of Mets Chronicle wonders whether the “Ike Davis Sweepstakes have begun?”

Jenna West of Rays Colored Glasses says that Tampa Bay is still pursuing James Loney, but might not be able to afford him.

And Jeff Todd of MLBTradeRumors takes a look at the market for free agent Kendrys Morales and whether the Mariners might bring him back and trade 1B Justin Smoak.

Ike Davis? Eric Chavez? James Loney? Lucas Duda? Justin Smoak?

It’s not a crisis – - yet.


48 thoughts on “Outside Perspectives on the 1B Market: Davis, Duda, Chavez, Smoak, Morales

  1. I’ve seen Morales & Smoak play quite a bit out here in Seattle…
    Smoak has not played up to the high expectations that were set for him a couple of years ago, but not a bad player and wouldn’t be horrible option for Pgh… certainly better than Morales, who has talent but is a prima donna headcase.

    I have to giggle a bit when I see these Mets journos/fans wondering why they can’t move Ike Davis… well, maybe it’s because most teams already have their own version of Ike Davis sitting in a AAA dugout.

    Seems to me that Pgh has a real advantage in the Loney sweepstakes – the Pirates are on the rise and have an excellent chance at the post-season for at least 2-3 years looking forward… the Rays are competitive but certainly not a lock for the playoffs (and have a lousy home field/fan base), and the Brewers will be lucky to finish above .500 in the foreseeable future. If I’m a 29-yr. old free agent with those choices on the table, then Pgh is looking really good to me.

    C’mon GMNH, give Loney a third year and sign him. The prospect of a Sanchez/Lambo 1B platoon is already causing me to lose sleep… in December… but it’s not a crisis yet (!?)…

    • That’s an excellent point on the advantage the Pirates would seem to have with Loney. A shot at the playoffs has to mean something.

      I still can’t imagine what got into the head of Kendrys Morales when he turned down the $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Mariners. He isn’t going to get anywhere near that kind of money. You’ve seen him a lot more than I have. Is his defense as bad as the stats say?

      Smoak hit right-handers very well last year. Have his numbers been hurt by Safeco?

      I wonder whether the Mets price tag for Ike Davis is way too high.

      • Morales… is a flake. No, his defense is not THAT bad, but it’s just one aspect of his overall flakiness. He’s one of those guys who thinks he’s an all-star, but hasn’t even come close to putting up all-star numbers… he wants the $$$, but he doesn’t think he should have to earn it every day. There are stretches of the season (weeks!) when he barely shows up at all… just waves at the ball at the plate and in the field, like he doesn’t want to be playing at all. I wouldn’t touch him w/ a 10 foot pole.

        Smoak’s numbers are tempered a bit by Safeco, but not much. He probably wasn’t ready when they called him up initially and he’s struggled to get ahead of the expectations that were heaped on him. He could be a nightmare for RHP in a park like PNC. The Mariners org. were in awe of the Pgh pitching/bullpen staff when they played here this past summer… my guess is that Smoak could be had for a RP+low minors prospect *or* Snider/Lambo… Seattle needs outfielders/bats.

        • I’d like to Smoak with the Pirates. You mention that he might not have been ready when he was called up to Seattle. I’m a big proponent of giving players all the time they need at AAA before promoting them. Not many players are harmed by spending too much time in the minors.

          I’m glad that there is almost no chance that Kendrys Morales will be coming to Pittsburgh.

      • I would like to see Snider get another chance to start in RF. I like his approach at the plate, especially w/ two strikes. But he must show up and prove his worth soon because if he doesn’t hit, then he has zero value – he’s got to be the SLOWEST outfielder in the NL.

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