It was a scenario that many people knew was inevitable. Ike Davis became expendable the minute Lucas Duda was named the starting first baseman. In fact the New York Mets had been openly trying to ship Davis since spring training and the Pittsburgh Pirates were involved in those discussions as well. Last night it was made official. The Mets have sent Ike Davis to the Pirates for pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.
Davis was a first round draft pick of the Mets in 2009. He made his major league debut in 2010 and finished with 19 home runs. His sophomore campaign ended prematurely with an injury to his ankle. 2012 saw both the best and worst of Davis. He struggled for much of the year to get his batting average over .2oo but as a result of solid second half of the season, Davis ended the season hitting .227 with 32 home runs and 90 RBI. 2013 was more of a struggle for Davis as he faced a demotion and hit only .205 for the season with 9 home runs. This season, Davis had started only 5 games and made his biggest impact with a walk off grand slam against the Reds at Citi Field. Davis was considered a great teammate and a positive clubhouse presence in his five years with the team.
With Davis’s departure the Mets are now fully committed to Lucas Duda as their first baseman in the long term. The Mets had verbally committed to Duda for a few weeks but this trade seals the decision. It has been talked about frequently that the team would not need both Duda and Davis going forward and that one of them was bound to be shipped at some point.
Thornton was drafted in the 23rd round in 2010 by the Oakland A’s. He has never pitched in the majors but has had a fairly successful minor league career and was pitching in Triple-AAA when the trade occurred. He is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA this season and has been assigned to Las Vegas to join former teammate Vic Black in the Mets’ system. He was never considered to be a “hot prospect” but because of his very solid ERA and impressive career numbers he could provide a boost to the bullpen if he continues to pitch well.
The Mets also will receive a player to be named. It has been reported that this player will be the more significant part of the trade though, of course, we do not know who this player is. Some people have speculated that the extra player could be either a 2013 draft pick of the Pirates or that he was on the 40-man roster and needs to clear waivers.
The Mets are a team that still has holes to fill on the big league club, namely mid-relief and shortstop. Thornton could provide a bug boost to the bullpen and if the additional player is as significant as is believed, the Mets could fill some needs with this trade and both sides can see benefit.