Briefly explaining the Mets’ J.D. news extravaganza

All winter, the Mets have been guided by two strong principles: Maintain roster space for young players to sink or swim in 2024, and minimize the 110 percent luxury tax penalties they incur on every dollar for exceeding the highest luxury tax threshold.

For both reasons, talks with star designated hitter J.D. Martinez, a free agent, have never become serious.

And for the same reasons, the team is still talking with free agent J.D. Davis, according to league sources.

The Mets do not want to box out Mark Vientos as DH this year, and have a hard time seeing a path to regular at-bats for Vientos if they sign Martinez (the same went for Jorge Soler, before he signed with the Giants, and veteran hitters like, say, Tommy Pham, who remain free agents).

Davis, however, comes with versatility, and can serve as an insurance policy at third base if Brett Baty struggles. He is hardly the ideal defensive infielder, and obviously not the hitter that Martinez is. But he does, at least, own a glove. And he will be less expensive than Martinez.

The Mets are not the only team in on Davis, who was released by San Francisco this week after the team signed third baseman Matt Chapman. But they are talking.

The Mets have never been totally closed off to the idea of signing Martinez. If his price drops to a level that would make it impossible to say no, they’d be willing to scoop him up -- although even then, they would be concerned about blocking Vientos.

And why should Martinez, an All-Star last year, settle for less money than he is worth?

And finally, did you know that the "D" in J.D. Davis stands for "Davis?" His actual middle name is Gregory. But is he J.G. Davis? Of course not. He is Jonathan "Davis" Davis.