Aug 8, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis (29) reacts after striking out during the eighth inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pittsburgh Pirates discussing Ike Davis and Mitch Moreland as potential trade targets

With James Loney returning to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ search for a platoon partner for Gaby Sanchez at first base will likely be limited to the trade market.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweeted something to that effect Tuesday afternoon:

As Charlie Wilmouth of Bucs Dugout writes, this is the first time the Pirates have been formally linked to Ike Davis in something other than speculation. If you’ll remember, Texas’ Mitch Moreland was mentioned by multiple sources last week as being a potential Bucs target, along with Toronto’s Adam Lind.

The Blue Jays reportedly asked for second baseman Neil Walker in exchange, which seems to have scared Pittsburgh off for now. But Moreland and now Davis remain in the equation, both of whom are in their late 20s, swing the bat from the left side, and are coming off sub-par seasons.

Davis, 27, hit a meek .205/.326/.334 with 14 doubles and nine homers in 103 games last season, although he was fifth in the National League with 32 homers in 2012. His average that year was still just .227 and his on-base percentage was .321, but if his power returns he can be a productive player.

As expected from a lefty hitter, Davis has had much more success against right-handed pitchers (.827 OPS) than vs. southpaws (.602). That would make him an ideal platoon mate for Sanchez, who does just the opposite from the right side of the plate.

Moreland’s platoon splits are less pronounced (.788 vs. .657), and the 28-year-old has been more consistent over his big-league career than Davis. Moreland’s OPS has ranged from .733 to .789 in his three full MLB campaigns, while Davis has fluctuated from .661 to .791.

Personally, I feel Moreland – who can also play a little right field if needed – would be a better target for the Bucs’ trade overtures. Both he and Davis are arbitration eligible for the first time this winter and wouldn’t be free agents until 2017, but Moreland seems like a steadier option to take additional at-bats if Sanchez stumbles or gets hurt.

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Tags: Ike Davis Mitch Moreland Pittsburgh Pirates

  • scott stevens

    With the quality of those two players, it would have been better to keep Jones. Everything is being cheap with Nutting, very sad for this franchise. I just wish this cheapskate would sell his team to owners that really care about putting a winning team on the field. I guess by taking all the profits is too much fun for him.

    • Matt Gajtka

      I wouldn’t have minded keeping Jones around. It seemed like he was figuring things out at the end of last year, but ended up behind the red-hot Byrd.

  • generalisimofredofuchenschidt

    If Charlie “Will put it in his mouth” approves the Bucs must do it

    Mitch Moreland is the better value …as was Morneau

    Therefore…GO GET IKE DAVIS…nice Jewish boy..people on Squirrel Hill may yet show up at PNC…what’s not to like !!! ???

    • Matt Gajtka

      LOL on the appeal to ethnicity.

  • Robert Sholtis

    Davis’ ceiling is higher… Mooreland is a safer choice. Bucs have a lot of mid grade safe choices. Davis, while a gamble, is probably the one they should take.

    • Matt Gajtka

      You think so? I think I’d rather go with the “safe” choice considering having Sanchez at first the whole time wouldn’t be good.

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