April trades involving notable names are pretty rare, but that’s just what we have between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets, as the two agreed to a deal on Friday afternoon that will ship Ike Davis to the Steel City. The return for the former top prospect has yet to be announced.
Ike Davis was the subject of plenty of trade rumors during the offseason, primarily with the Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers, among others. Nothing transpired, though, and the assumption was that he’d be gone by the deadline. As it would turn out, it was a safe one.
Davis isn’t off to the greatest of starts for the Mets in 2014, and he’s coming off the worst season of his career. After breaking into the league with the Mets back in 2010, Davis looked like a budding star in New York in 2011, but was limited to just 36 games. He was unable to completely shake off the rust in 2012 before struggling to stay above the Mendoza line in 2013 and recording just nine home runs.
In a dozen games this year, Ike Davis has gone for an average of just .208, three points above where he finished last year, but has also reached base at a .367 clip thus far. His .211 BABIP says a lot about his luck to this point, but he’s still getting on base via the walk and limiting his strikeouts, with the latter being at its lowest rate in his career. He’s hit one home run to this point, and knocked in five and OPSing .742.
For the Mets, this means that Lucas Duda will get a bulk of the time at first base. It’ll be interesting to see what they end up getting as a return, given that they sold so low on Ike Davis. Nonetheless, the Pirates boast one of the better farm systems in baseball, so getting a couple of prospects as the Mets appear to have done is plenty intriguing.
For the contending Bucs, they get a legitimate first baseman as they had been rolling with a combination of Travis Ishikawa and Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez should still see time at first, while Ishikawa is likely on his way out with the arrival of Davis.