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Pirates acquire Ike Davis from Mets for minor league righty, PTBNL

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Ike Davis is the Pirates' new first baseman.
Ike Davis is the Pirates' new first baseman. (USATSI)

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The Pirates have acquired first baseman Ike Davis from the Mets, the team announced. Minor league righty reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later are heading to New York. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports the player to be named is "fairly significant."

Davis, 27, is 5-for-24 (.208) this season with one home run, though that one homer was a walk-off grand slam. He also has more walks (six) than strikeouts (four). Lucas Duda has been annointed the everyday first baseman, so Davis has been a bench player early in 2014.

It was no secret the Mets were looking to trade their incumbent first baseman during the offseason. They reportedly discussed deals with the Rays, Orioles, Pirates and Brewers, among others. They never did find a deal to their liking over the winter.

Davis hit .227/.308/.462 (111 OPS+) with 32 home runs in 2012, but slumped to .205/.326/.334 (89 OPS+) with nine homers last season. He was shipped to Triple-A for a month as well. The former first round pick was a classic change of scenery guy.

The Pirates looked for a left-handed complement to Gaby Sanchez all winter, but came up empty. Sanchez is a .300/.399/.501 career hitter against lefties while Davis is a career .256/.357/.471 hitter against righties. There's their new first base platoon.

Thornton, 25, had a 2.63 ERA with 10.8 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 75 1/3 minor league relief innings last season. He has allowed two runs (one earned) with eight strikeouts and one walk in 7 1/3 innings at Triple-A this year. He could join the Mets' bullpen immediately.

Davis will earn $3.5 million this season. He will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through the 2016 season.

 
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