Pittsburgh Pirates Send Ike Davis To Oakland Athletics For International Signing Slot


Senior vice-president and general manager Neal Huntington and the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday sent first baseman Ike Davis to Oakland in exchange for the Athletics’ allotment at the 27th slot in the international signing pool.

The Jolly Roger crew included their slot at No. 86 in the deal, but had $269,000 added to their spending limit in the current international signing period which began on July 2.

Vice president and general manager Billy Beane and the A’s wanted to add Davis for depth, and the flexibility to make more moves down the road. The key was they had $501,900 at No. 27 and exchanged that for the Bucs’ $232,000 at No. 86.

There were changes in the most recent collective bargaining agreement that put limits on the amount a team can spend on international amateur players. Teams have a strict bonus pool that if exceeded, means they can face penalties. The pool budget is based on their record in the previous season. The slot values are there for trading purposes.

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The Pirates now have $2,199,400 in their pool and the funds from the A’s allows them to try and bring in another Gregory Polanco or Starling Marte into the fold. The team has already signed 10 players and spent approximately $1.4 million of their original international spending pool of $1,930,400.

Davis, who will turn 28 in March, wrapped up the 2014 season with Pittsburgh hitting .233 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound first baseman blasted 32 home runs for the New York Mets in 2012.

The Edina, Minnesota, native had been designated for assignment on Thursday because the Pirates needed the space on their 40-man roster to protect their minor-league prospects who would be eligible for next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

The trade also indicates that the Pirates are going to go with Pedro Alvarez at first base this season. It should also be noted that Gaby Sanchez is eligible for arbitration this season. It will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh offers him a contract.