This one was only a matter of time, though it’s surprising to see a notable name dealt this early.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, in need of some help at first base, have acquired Ike Davis from the New York Mets in exchange for pitching prospect Zack Thornton and a player to be named later. Davis finally ends up dealt after having his name floating around on the rumor circuit for the entire winter.
Pittsburgh had been rolling with a combination of Gaby Sanchez and Travis Ishikawa at first base, the latter of which was really struggling at the plate. The trade gives the Bucs a more effective bat from the left side and the ability to continue to get Sanchez in the lineup against lefties, as he’s fared pretty well to this point in the season.
Davis is hitting barely over .200 on the season, but his BABIP is also way down at just .211, so he’s been rather unlucky. If he does find his way into a groove at some point, he’s a guy capable of hitting for big power and getting on base plenty. His walk rate is up over 20 percent so far in this young season. He’s reached base at a .367 clip to this point in the 2014 campaign.
The 2013 season wasn’t kind to Ike Davis, as he managed to hit just .205 and was actually sent to the minors for a spell early on. As the return from the Pirates in this trade would indicate, the Mets certainly sold low on the Arizona State product.
In exchange for Davis, the Mets get pitching prospect Zack Thorton, who the Bucs acquired from Oakland prior to 2013. He’s started just one game in his minor league career, at the Double A level, so he’s a future bullpen piece for the Mets. He has decent stuff, though a noticeable lefty/righty split as a right hander and is off to a very good start in 2014, with an ERA of just 1.23 at Triple A Indianapolis.