Non-Pirates Rumors: Ike Davis, Mark Trumbo

First base is a position of need for the Pittsburgh Pirates this off-season. There are a few free agent options available who could fill that need. There are also some trade options, including two that a lot of Pirates fans are talking about. Those two are Mark Trumbo of the Angels and Ike Davis of the Mets. This morning I noticed updates on both players from Jon Heyman, and neither specifically mentioned the Pirates as a team of interest.

In Trumbo’s case, we don’t know if the Pirates are interested. Heyman reports that interest in Trumbo is huge, but that the Angels don’t want to deal him. He says that the Angels are looking for pitching, and that Trumbo would bring a very good pitcher. Considering the interest in Trumbo, I’d imagine it would cost Jameson Taillon to get him. Personally I’d rather see a James Loney/Gaby Sanchez platoon, with Taillon coming up mid-season. That would provide more overall value than Trumbo. The Pirates showed interest in Trumbo at the trade deadline, but the Angels had no interest in a deal.

Heyman has an update on Ike Davis in a different article. He says that the Astros, Orioles, Rays, Brewers and Rockies have all checked in on Davis, and that the Mets are fielding offers. I have yet to see a credible rumor that connects the Pirates to Davis. The only thing I’ve seen has said the Pirates “could” have interest, which doesn’t mean they do have interest. You can make that claim about any first baseman on the market. For example, the Pirates “could” have interest in James Loney. But that’s not a rumor, and it doesn’t say the Pirates are interested. It’s just leaving off the disclaimer that the Pirates have a need at first base, and Loney is an available first baseman.

  • Ike Davis would make a great deadline pickup. But you don’t want to play him from April-July. He makes Adam LaRoche look like a fast starter out of ST. But September? Hell yeah.

    If the Cards wanted Trumbo (they don’t), they could get him for Lynn and one of their young relievers. I don’t think any MLB team is dealing – or even considering dealing – their top pitching prospect for Trumbo. I don’t know where that postulation is coming from, but it’s absurd.

    I’d be fine with Loney at 1b. But I still think Bucs need to find a better solution for leadoff. I am not comfortable with a free swinger who needs to get plunked 24x/year in order to have a not-quite-respectable OBP. And Cutch needs to up his RISP hitting. Maybe a new hitting coach can get him to succeed in those situations. IMO, there is no reason Cutch shouldn’t have 100+ RBI if the guys in front of him get on at a .350+ clip. Cutch’s “clutch” stats dropped from -0.37 to -0.87 last year. Of the 24 OFs in MLB with 120+ PA with RISP, Cutch ranked 14th, with only a .282 BA/.755 OPS. And no HRs.

  • Regarding Loney, the Rays and the Bucs, let’s assume that Tim’s right and we’re better off following the model that the Rays have laid out through the years (I have no reason to believe that Tim is wrong here). Let’s further assume that we’ve been trailing their model by a couple years in regards to the rebuild (this also seems like a safe bet). Finally, let’s assume that because both teams made the playoffs and both were bumped out in the their respective division series, that going into this offseason, they’re roughly even as franchises in the present and moving forward in the near future (though what separates the Rays at this point is proven sustainability).

    With all that being said, why should the Pirates be looking to add Loney in the 2013 offseason when the Rays are looking to move on from him? Is it purely because we have Gaby to split time with him? Is it because despite the Bucs limited budget, the Rays budget is even more limited? What does Friedman know that Loney’s advocates don’t? Obviously a lot of questions, but I see Loney as the fallback option behind three or four other fallback options.

  • Yeah, Ike Davis. We can set new mlb strikeout records. And Trumbo is going to cost more than I would like them to give up for him.

  • Tim even if the Pirates are interested in James Loney do you think the Pirates would even spend the money required to get him.

  • There is a player that’s available by trade that very few media outlets are talking about and imo will be a perfect fit for the Pirates, the blue jays Adam Lind. There are reports that he has an attitude not worth bringing in, but his production/salary will be a welcome addition to the Pirates. Although we are not a fit (blue Jays are looking for 2b, catcher and of course pitching help) Second offseason add that I will like to see, Juan Uribe to back up 3b and 1b.
    On Trumbo, I could see the Big A from my house (angels stadium), I understand that the market for Mark is rising, but I still believe that Melancon will be enough to bring him in, but if we are trading Melancon, I will try to see if the Tigers will let go Castellanos for him.

  • No way you trade Taillon for Mark over rated Trumbo. I agree with Tim, I would much rather go with Loney/Sanchez and Taillon arrive in June. No interest in Ike Davis either, I shouldn’t say either. I wouldn’t mind Trumbo but certainly not for Taillon or Glasnow. Ike Davis strikes out more than Pedro, we don’t need another hitter like that in the lineup. Worst case, I think we could bring Morneau back on the the cheap. Who knows maybe Lambo will prove to have legit power the first couple months and when Polonco arrives, maybe he can be the long term answer at first. I am not saying he is because I need to see a lot more than 30 AB’s to make an accurate judgment on him.

    • Actually Ike Davis strikes out a little less than Pedro. And he walks a whole lot more than Pedro. He is absolutely dreadful against left handers though. Worse than Pedro. Worse than Jones. Not sure I’ve ever see a hitter that truly awful against same side pitching. But he mashes righties really good and the Pirates face fewer left handers than any team in baseball. There are only 3 starting southpaws of note in the NL Central. So Davis could be a decent fit with the Pirates in a platoon with Gaby. I hate the idea of carrying a platoon when they face so few lefties (only 31 in 2013) but it is what it is. Gaby can still provides value if the salary remains under $3 million.

      • Wow……didn’t realize we only faced 31 lefty starters this year. That has to be the lowest in baseball, no? Is that primarily due to the fact that the Cardinals have zero lefties, or just freakish luck that we somehow avoided everyone else’s lefties?

        • Yes, it was the lowest in baseball. The whole division lacks lefties. The Brewers don’t have any. Only lefties of note are Cingrani, Travis Wood, and Jaime Garcia (and he may not even crack the Cards rotation). Maybe another will get picked up the offseason, but still won’t be very many to contend with next season. The Bucs are a prime location for a left handed masher that feasts on right handed pitching. You would think a few of these agents would pick up on that and try to drum up the Pirate’s interest in their clients.

  • Trumbo for Melancon???

    Seems like equal value to me…

    Trumbo´s power is quite tempting (even if his OBP skills are not good). A righty versión of Pedro?
    His Splits look awful this year, but career-wise are pretty decent!

    Definitely in the A list for 1B!

    • No way they would make that trade straight-up. They’re looking for starting pitching for him, according to the reports.

      I certainly wouldn’t mind moving a RP for a 1B player/prospect though.

      • If Texas gets the 1B it wants, a RP might just bring back Moreland.

        • They could do worse than Moreland, but he’d still only be a platoon player and a stopgap IMO.

          Eventually need to get a legit 1B prospect into the system one way or another…

      • Well, from what I’ve read the Halos are looking for both Starting and Bullpen help…
        I think Melancon is a great trading chip, if not with the Angels, maybe some other team… I also think Locke’s overall numbers can be of interest for someone looking to add a Lefty starter.

  • With the Twins’ announcement that Joe Mauer is moving to 1B, one more potential buyer is off the market (MLBTR pegged Loney to land in Minnesota). That leaves the Red Sox, Rays, Pirates and Brewers with no current answer at 1B (assuming GFJ is non-tendered/traded), and a few other teams (Houston, Texas, Colorado, Baltimore) that could upgrade/fill a DH need. After Napoli signs (preferably with Boston), it’s actually shaping up as a buyer’s market, or at least a fair market, for a decent 1B bat.

  • Taillon is now untouchable, IMO, and certainly for someone like Trumbo, who I happen to like a lot as a 1B option.

    But I also see the lefty platoon as the way to go for at least one more year. To forego Gaby’s hitting against lefties – the best 1B against LHPs in all of baseball last year – would seem irresponsible, so just go get a lefty platoon to take advantage of the other side.

    And Ike Davis is just Garrett Jones 2.0……….pass.

    • Definitely agree with you on Davis.

    • JG: Agree that Gaby Sanchez was awesome in 2013 and for my money, I would try to sign Justin Morneau before I would try for Loney. I thought that Morneau brought the glove that we had been missing, and he and Sanchez were excellent defensively. Loney was very average or below in the two or three years prior to 2013, and he is not much for power. Morneau, IMO, has the bigger upside, and the money between the two will be negligible. Better clubhouse rep, community involvement, chemistry.

    • Taillon isn’t going anywhere, we’ve waited too long for him…..he has the ability too dominate.