The Pittsburgh Pirates have been in search of an upgrade at first base since the 2013 season ended. Sixteen games into the 2014 season, they finally got their man.
After being linked to him on numerous occasions during the offseason and spring training, the Pirates finally acquired left-handed hitting first baseman Ike Davis from the New York Mets on Friday.
To complete the trade, the Pirates are sending right-handed reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later to the Mets.
Thornton is a 25-year-old reliever who was working in Triple-A this season and not rated among the Pirates’ top prospects.
Davis’ stock is about as low as it can get at the moment.
Coming off a 2012 season in which he hit 32 homers and drove in 90 runs, Davis has been nothing short of lousy since. Even during his big 2012 campaign, his OBP slipped to .308.
Last season Davis wasn’t much better, posting an OPS of .661 as he managed to hit nine balls out of the park. He’s not off to a good start this season either, hitting .205 with a homer and five RBIs, although in limited at bats.
Over 407 MLB plate appearances since 2012, Davis has a .205/.329/.337 line with 10 home runs and a rising strikeout problem.
The hope is a change of scenery, along with the short right-field porch at PNC Park, will help Davis find the success he had two years ago.
The likely scenario is that Travis Ishikawa will be moved to clear a roster spot for Davis. While Davis isn’t much of an upgrade, he is a slight improvement over Ishikawa and has a bit more upside.
The timing of the trade is very odd, with Gaby Sanchez swinging a hot bat at the moment.
Either way Davis is heading to Pittsburgh and quite possibly could be in uniform Saturday.