Pirates in the Mix For Ike Davis

Jim Duquette reports that the Pirates are still in the mix for New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis, along with Tampa Bay and Milwaukee.

Those are the three teams actively seeking first base options. They’re all in on James Loney, although reports from all three teams say his price is too high. Duquette says that the Mets are looking for a pitching prospect in return for Davis. I’m not sure if that means a top pitching prospect like Jameson Taillon, or someone further down in the rankings.

Personally I would spend the money on Loney rather than trading for Davis. Even if Loney gets $8-9 M per year, that would only be about $5 M more than Davis in 2014, and wouldn’t require the loss of a prospect. Also, Loney grades as the better option. If it’s a lower ranked pitching prospect and not someone near the top 10, then it might be different. However, I can’t imagine that would be the case. Mark Trumbo landed two top pitching prospects, so I’d imagine the Mets would be looking for at least one really good prospect in return for Davis.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Jared

    Tim, my only disagreement is that Ike Davis is not Trumbo. He’s also not Logan Morrison. However, something between the two is what I think Davis is and where his value is. He’s a strong major league reliever or low(er) minor league pitcher…Adrian Sampson type player.

    If that’s the case, I would rather save the $4-5M and trade for Davis.

    • emjayinTN

      J: As long as the price in prospect(s) is acceptable, this is his year. In 2010 and 2012 he averaged 30 doubles and 25 HR’s – 2014 should be a great year for him. 2011 and 2013 were not very good. He has all the tools both offensively and defensively, and at 26 years old, he could be there a long time. Can Jeanmar Gomez be enough? Jose Tabata? This kid is under a big microscope in NY,NY and maybe the change of scenery would help him a lot.

  • Vinny Batts

    I really don’t understand the interest in Ike Davis. Yeah, former 1st-rounder, lots of power, etc. etc. But do we really need another middle of the order bat striking out at a near-30% clip? Between him and Alvarez, there might not be enough golden sombreros to go around. I (and I know I’m not alone) would feel a whole heckuva lot more confortable with James Loney, who struck out 24 less times than Davis last year – IN 221 LESS AT-BATS.

    • Vinny Batts

      That should obviously say “MORE” at-bats. Not less.

    • Y2JGQ2

      exactly why i want loney, but if all 3 teams are putting all their chips in loney, he’ll end up getting 10 per year…..so there has to be some posturing Again i’m all in on going with Chavez and taking my chances…..is it too late to bring jones back?

  • brentgates

    I don’t see much of an upgrade at all with Ike Davis…spend the extra money and go get Loney!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

      agree

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.sweetnich Joe Sweetnich

    Got to say I’d rather go Justin Smoak than Davis

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

      Why would you want a 1bman with a career OPS of .700 who has only slightly better Road stats (so you can’t blame it on the Mariner ballpark).

      To give you an idea of how bad he has been, Barmes’ career OPS is .677. Smoak’s career slugging is .686. Barmes is .683.

      Btw, on BRef, one of his comparable batting mates is Ike Davis.

      Personally, I don’t want either one of them.

      • tom2125

        Why not look at Smoak’s season? Why his whole career? And if you want to look at his career, then look at his splits.

        Last season he hit .260 ba, .361 obp, .477 slug, .838 ops.

        I will def take that. Clint Barmes isn’t putting those numbers up.

  • bucyeah90

    I don’t like Davis, I think they should see how low they can get Loney and get him he’s the best option. Of course, if Neil gives up a C level pitching prospect for Davis I suppose nobody could complain.

    • CTBucco

      Locke for Ike? Despite saying that I’d like to keep him, it makes some sense in that both are fallen emerging prospects. Both are not ideal given their warts (control for Locke, low contact rate for Ike). I wouldn’t do it only because I don’t think Ike’s a good fit in the lineup. He’s a lot like Pedro but with a (much) better walk rate. Too many whiffs and very low BA. If he hit .280, maybe. But at .220-.240, no thanks.

      • bucyeah90

        Exactly. That’s why I prefer Loney, the Bucs have enough power and strikeouts, they need Loneys contact, ability to get on base, and defense.

    • Y2JGQ2

      what was the value of the player that was traded for lomo? Does anyone know. Realistically Davis should be less because he has less position flexibility

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/johnrussellskinner johnrussellskinner

    This guy mashes RHP. I think this a great pickup, if he doesn’t take something absurd to get. .827 OPS for his career vs. RHP. This guy is a great option, just don’t let him hit against lefties. I see him as a guy who could potentially put up 2012 GIJ numbers.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/johnrussellskinner johnrussellskinner

      W/ much better OBP I might add.

    • Jared

      People are underestimating Davis and overestimating Loney.

      • csnumber23

        I agree with both of you guys. If they were both FA’s I would prefer Davis. As long as we aren’t talking about a top prospect I’m all for getting Ike. He pounds right handed pitching so we have the perfect platoon there with Gaby. Neither can touch the other side pitchers so the platoon would be great.

        However Tim just mentioning Taillon’s name in this made me throw up. If we were to trade Taillon for Davis I might need to be hospitalized – Haha – No way that happens. I think the highest they would get, would be Heredia.

        • Jared

          After the Masterson trade I do not see how they get anything better than a prospect better than Capps.

          The return should be more than Capps and less than Skaggs…that would put the prospect somewhere in the McPherson, Locke, Sampson, at best Clay Holmes range.

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/johnrussellskinner johnrussellskinner

          I was actually thinking Heredia should be the cap too.

    • https://www.facebook.com/scott.skink Scott Skink

      Ike has to get out of NY for certain. I spent a lot of time in NY this summer listening to WFAN and Ike takes 10x the amount of abuse from hosts and callers than any Pirate in recent memory.

      That said, Sandy Alderson said today that they’re not going to give him away.

      And what the Angels got for Trumbo was not really two top prospects the way we see top prospects (Taillon, Glasnow, Kingham). The ones the Angels got are back end guys – even Skaggs, who’s had a considerable velocity drop a la Tim Alderson. Mets might take a guy like Phil Irwin.

      • Jared

        That all said, Skaggs was the #10 prospect in all of baseball last year…ahead of Taillon. They got “legit” prospects for Trumbo and much more deservedly so then Ike Davis at this point.

  • Roberrto21

    Ike Davis is not worth more than an organizational player, he has been erratic at the plate (be;ieve he got sent down last year due to struggles) and bad in the field, why would we want him? Loney is a far superior option! I wouldn’t give the Mets Locke even up for Davis!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

      I’d give them Locke or JeanMar, but not any high prospects.

      And, I like Locke. Maybe TWO relievers and a low level starter?

      Foo

    • Jared

      Pedro got sent down a couple years ago because of struggles too…Do you like Pedro?

      -Pedro has hit for a career .235 ave, .306 OBP, and a .443 SLG and wOBA of .324…
      his career bb-rate is 9.0% and k-rate of 30.6% and a career ISO of .207

      -Ike has hit for a career .242 ave, .334 OBP, and a .434 SLG and a wOBA of .334…his career walk rate is 12.1% and his career k-rate is 24.0% and a career ISO of .192 (definitely hurt by his terrible year last year) and Davis actually has a little over 100 LESS plate-appearances

      Ike Davis is also a month younger…and people seem to think that Pedro will get even better and put up better numbers. Why is Ike disqualified? Because his bad terrible season was two years after Pedro’s?

      • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

        Big difference is that Pedro is a 3B. Easier to find a 1B with numbers similar to, or better than Davis. Also, Pedro had some improved defense last year.

        • Jared

          Yeah, I am a little disappointed in Davis’ UZR numbers the last two years. His first two seasons he had positive UZR numbers and still does have positive UZR for his career…very similar career UZR numbers to Loney actually (7.0 uzr/3.0 uzr150 vs. 8.6 uzr/1.3 uzr150)…although I think those numbers are skewed by Davis’ first great season.

          Again, his power numbers are worth the look…especially in such a great platoon. The ONE big thing that Loney has in his favor, for me, is that I would really like to have another bat in this lineup that can consistently hit .280-.295 and that’s Loney…I’m afraid that Ike Davis would leave too many men on base.

          • http://www.reverbnation.com/johnrussellskinner johnrussellskinner

            Loney is also a better baserunner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    For his career, Davis has an OPS of .827 vs RHPs and .602 vs LHPs.

    So, yeah, MAYBE I do it, but nothing in the top 10 of prospects. Maybe not even the Top 20.

    Foo

    • Y2JGQ2

      Nothing in the top 20. Period.

  • jon6er

    Well they probably just wasted 5 million on a rhp so they might as well risk wasting more on a average 1b who can help set an unbeatable team strike out record.

    • csnumber23

      Oh I forgot you can see in to the future that they wasted 5 million. You probably said the same thing last year about Liriano but I guarantee you won’t admit it.

      • Jared

        I loved the Liriano signing…hate the Volquez signing…and I’ve stated why.

        I think Fausto Carmona would have been a better and cheaper bounce-back option. We’ll never know b/c he won’t be here to benefit from the defense and tutelage.

      • jon6er

        Look up the dudes career stats and then the definition of probably! And then reply to what is written and not what you read into it.

        • csnumber23

          I know the dudes numbers! I also know not too long ago he was considered a top of the rotation guy! I also know he has great stuff and is not old! If Ray can get the most out of him that he has then he will be worth way more than 5 million. 5 million in this market is a low risk-high reward situation. Do I think he will be Liriano, no! But I do think he could be a 12-14 win guy with a 3.90 to 4.25 era guy with 180-200 innings. If he does that the 5 mil will be a bargain.

        • buster09

          Which ” probably ” are you referring to Jon ?

  • Bucco Boyd 1979

    With no first base prospect in the system ready to compete at the MLB level (the closest we had was Alex Dickerson), why not sign Loney to the three years, 27-30 mil that per the reports is what he is asking for? I must admit, I don’t know much about Loney, but the general report is that he is a very good fielding first basemen with a good on base percentage. He does not hit much for power. If all that is accurate, then he by far is the best option among the free agent class this off season. Unless Neal H. goes the trade route, I say sign Loney. If he gives good, solid, reliable defense and can put the ball in play on a consistent basis, then we will be better than last year. I DO NOT care about the lack of home run potential from Loney IF he is advertised in terms of on base percentage. This lineup is in SERIOUS, DIRE, CRITICAL need to reduce their number of strikeouts and putting the ball in play with runners on base, MOST ESPECIALLY WITH RISP. I would love to know how many potential runs, and ultimately, potential wins, died out there on the base paths during those TWO MONTHS/ONE-THIRD OF THE 2013 SEASON WITHOUT A FREAKING SACRIFICE FLY. On a team that supposedely is cash strapped and will never be able to trade for or sign via free agency the upper class of talent, then the Pirates are going to have to have a lineup of players who can play situational baseball. From what I have read about Loney, he seems to fit that description. If so, then we will be better at first base heading into 2014 than we were in 2013. If they go with a stop gap type player, then the chances are that we will be having this same conversation next year this time. SIGN LONEY FOR THREE YEARS AND THAT WILL BUY THE ORGANIZTION TIME TO DEVELOP SOMEONE. I really believe that is the best option unless Neal can work out a shrewd trade but to date there is no indication of anything like that. Lind and Moreland do not excite me at all. In fact, just the opposite. I certainly did not want Morrison. GO WITH THE SOLID DEFENSE AND GOOD OBP AND BATTING AVERAGE THAT LONEY WILL GIVE.

    • emjayinTN

      Loney is only one year removed from a season where he batted 430 times with 20 doubles, 6 HR’s, only 28 Walks, and a slash line of .249/.293/.336/.630. I think it is clear that the Pirates do not have a clue as to how to find a first baseman, so I will take Ike Davis, or Mitch Moreland, or Justin Smoak for that matter, but get on with it. And if the reports are correct that the Mariners gave up Carter Capps to get LoMo, then I would advise they walk away and wait until the idiocy ends – $9 or $10 mil per year for 3 years for a guy one year removed from a .630 OPS? Which James Loney are we going to get? The Mets have two guys waiting for Davis to leave, the Rangers already have replaced Moreland, and the Mariners have already replaced Smoak – where is their bargaining power? I might wait until right before ST to find out who blinks first. In the meantime I would be talking to Neil Walker about the possibility of moving over to 1B to help the team.

      • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams

        Here is the BABIP by year for Loney:

        2008: .315
        2009: .299
        2010: .302
        2011: .309
        2012: .269
        2013: .326

        His 2012 season was bad, but I’d chalk it up to bad luck more than something that is a big risk to happen in the future.

      • Y2JGQ2

        It would make more sense to move Pedro and sign another third baseman (Omar Infante) rather than move Walker

  • Y2JGQ2

    Lets trade them every player in our organization who’s first name is zach or zack or zac for davis….

    • https://www.facebook.com/scott.skink Scott Skink

      Probably going to lose Zach Thornton tomorrow anyway, so add him in as a sweetener to an Irwin or Sampson.

  • piratemike

    Just taking Davis off the Mets hands should be enough, they ought to send back Black to make it a fair deal.

  • scrappy2499

    So it’s starting to look like Loney is going to get 3 yrs. 10 mil/yr. (three teams looking at him). What ever happened to trying Lambo?? He has been fielding the position down south so far…Would he compare to Ike? If we are going to have someone who strikes out come in for a decent prospect, if Lambo can match him then give him a shot and don’t lose anyone…

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    As with Chris Stewart, Davis would be a complete waste of whatever we would trade and pay for him. If we are going to stoop to options like Ike Davis, why in the world did we trade Dickerson away? I would rather see a Lambo/Sanchez platoon at first base, then give anything up for Ike Davis. First Volquez, now Ike Davis?

    • stickyweb

      Umm, because at age 23 Davis was hitting MLB to the tune of .791 OPS for a full season. At 23, Dickerson was doing slightly better than that at AA. Davis has some history of success in MLB and will just be 27 in 2014, Dickerson has less than a 50% chance of doing anything in MLB. I can understand not liking Davis or thinking there are much better 1B options out there, but any comparison with Dickerson is a waste of time.

      I agree giving Lambo a shot at the LH side of the platoon is worthy, or were you just saying that to illustrate how much you hate Ike, not that you think Lambo deserves it?

  • Gallatin

    You think the Pirates, Brewers, and Rays are going enter a bidding war and get Loney up to 3×10 ? Really?

    At most, Loney could end up at 3×8, it all depends on the Brewers though, neither the Bucks nor Rays will go 3×8.

  • Pie Rat

    Decker is on the Pirates CareVan visiting my town tomorrow. They are starting to promote him to the fans.

  • Y2JGQ2

    Any thought at this point to using that money we are saving on Burnett and potentially not getting a sizeable first base contract and possibly signing Stephen Drew to a 3-36 to anchor down shortstop? Maybe even look at Omar Infante to super util and help out pedro and neil? It would be an interesting change of direction which would maybe provide some value above internal options vs. the scraps at the FA table for first baseman or a lopsized trade

    • stickyweb

      Stephen Drew has avg 94 games played the last 3 years, and as with all of us, he ain’t getting any younger. 3-36 for a guy that plays slightly more than half the time? I think your “anchor down” metaphor is very accurate, just not how you intended it.

      I like the thinking outside the box on Infante, but he’s gonna make way too much for a UT (even a super UT) guy and he hasn’t played SS since 2010, and even then just 10 – 20 games a year. If you could count on him for some time at SS, it might make sense, but you can’t.

  • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

    In a sense, I think Davis is a victim of the Mets’ organizational incompetence; they have taken the notion of plate selectivity and made in an end in itself. If you read some of the things Alderson and Dave Hudgens have said, it’s almost like they want their hitters to get in two-strike counts. I think–and this is totally subjective, obviously–that part of Davis’ struggles is that he lays off hittable pitches because of the organization carping at him about selectivity. In my view, he absolutely screams bounce-bakc candidate, and I think he’s worth a decent prospect.

    • Pie Rat

      It would be interesting to see, but they said the same thing about Snider’s time in Toronto that he would be a better hitter in the Pirates system.