Mets' J.D. Davis talks trade rumors, is ready to play third base: 'I have full confidence in my capability'

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J.D. Davis takes grounders at third base spring training 2021 full body
J.D. Davis takes grounders at third base spring training 2021 full body

J.D. Davis has spoken often about the difficulty of going back and forth from left field to third base, and he's happy that his position appears settled heading into the 2021 season.

"It's huge when you kind of go into a spring training where you know where you're going to play or where you're (usually) going to play," Davis told reporters on Wednesday via Zoom. "During the offseason the game plan was to continue to get better, agile or side-to-side in a way or going front to back."

Davis, who worked extremely hard last offseason to improve his defense at third base, struggled at the position in 2020, where he was worth - 8 DRS in 34 games. He was worth -9 DRS at third base in 31 games in 2019.

As rumors swirled this offseason regarding the Mets possibly finding a new third baseman -- rumors that were helped along when Sandy Alderson and Zack Scott wouldn't commit to Davis at the position -- Davis said he took them in stride.

"It's a business and I know in the long run there's really nothing I can do about it," he said. "I think we had the same exact question after the 2019 season. ... I was in trade talks then and reporters asked me about whether I'm worried about trade talks. And I'm not. It is what it is. I think it's actually pretty cool to be in a package deal with Nolan Arenado and Matt Chapman and Kris Bryant. ... It says a lot (about) where I've come from as a player.

"I have full confidence in my capability. I'm a major leaguer, I'm a big leaguer, and I know that. And I'm gonna stand behind that. And I love these guys. I love this organization. I love being around these guys. I connect with these guys. Am I happy to be a Met coming in here? Absolutely."

When it comes to what he's working on defensively at third base, Davis said part of his focus right now includes getting rid of the ball quicker, but that he's looking to improve in a more general way at the hot corner.

Toward that end, Davis said that the addition of Francisco Lindor (who will be next to him at shortstop) was "absolutely huge," adding that Lindor has already started to communicate with him regarding how they'll work together on the left side of the infield.

The expectation is that Davis will play third base most days, though things could change if the NL adds the DH between now and Opening Day.

For now, though, Davis should be at third -- with Lindor next to him.

"He's a superstar-caliber player, and knowing the fact that he's got my left -- it makes it even a little bit more comfortable, absolutely," Davis said.