Even after being recalled from Las Vegas to replace the slumping Ike Davis one month ago, Mets first baseman Josh Satin was still behind Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Justin Turner on Terry Collins's depth chart. However, after injuries to Turner and Duda and a slide back over to second base for Murphy, Satin was given the everyday first base job. He flourished with regular playing time, reeling off an eleven-game hitting streak and showing the same aptitude for drawing walks and smacking doubles that he showed throughout his minor league career. In 76 plate appearances in 2013, Satin's line stands at a healthy .361/.487/.557. This is the first extended look in the majors for the 28-year-old, so the earliest he would even be eligible for arbitration would be 2016.
Mets manager Terry Collins recently demurred when asked if Ike Davis would still get the bulk of the playing time at first base going forward, so it might seem like Satin would have a bit of job security, especially given Davis's career-long struggles against lefties. But Davis and Satin aren't the only names that Collins could pencil in next to '3' on the lineup card. Lucas Duda will be returning from his DL stint for an intercostal strain in the next few weeks, and Justin Turner could be back from his own intercostal issue as soon as Friday. It's unclear if Duda will end up back in the outfield, especially with the trade for, and subsequent emergence of, Eric Young, Jr., so the Mets may end up with four players on the 25-man roster who could draw reps at first base. If the Mets can turn Satin (the oldest of the four, by the way) into some sort of asset based off his unsustainably hot start, that is a tough deal to pass up.
We actually fielded an e-mail on potential Josh Satin deals on this week's Amazin' Avenue Audio (#blamePaternostro). To summarize: Other teams probably realize that Josh Satin is not a .360 hitter at the major league level, even before taking into account that near-.500 batting average on balls in play. That said, Satin has always shown the ability to work a walk and mash southpaws. A team that is willing to punt some defense on occasion, perhaps at second base, third base, or a corner outfield spot, could get some mileage out of Satin's bat. The Tampa Bay Rays obviously jump to mind, as they used Jeff Keppinger in a similar role last season, and in general they are an organization that values positional flexibility and highly specialized skill sets. In addition, Tampa Bay's first baseman, the left-handed James Loney, has just a .681 OPS against same-side pitching across his career. Tampa Bay isn't generally a team that makes big buys in-season, but a deal for Satin might be more up their alley. The A's are another team that heavily uses platoons, but Nate Freiman's .311/.357/.467 line when spotting Brandon Moss against lefties probably makes Satin unnecessary.
On the podcast I ultimately concluded that even if a team was interested in Josh Satin, it was unlikely that they would give up anything past cash considerations for him. If you want a "Josh Satin," you're much more likely to put in a waiver claim on him or offer a minor league deal with a spring training invite over the winter. Whatever my personal views on his ability, most teams would view him as a rather fungible asset and probably have a "Josh Satin" kicking around on their 40-man roster. Lefty mashers with some positional flexibility are fairly common. In addition to the A's and Freiman, the Rays are currently deploying Sean Rodriguez in a Satin-ish role, playing some second base and some outfield against left-handed pitching. Perhaps Satin is an upgrade on the likes of Freiman and Rodriguez, but teams just aren't going to give up anything of value for a 28-year-old career minor leaguer. Given that the Mets best first base options both could use a platoon partner, Satin has more value to the Mets than he will return in a deadline deal. In conclusion, HAIL!