UPDATE: Originally in the Triple-A lineup, Ike Davis was removed about 30 minutes before game time. He’s in Buffalo, New York and the Mets are playing at Citi Field tonight, so …* * * * * * * * * *
Every media outlet in New York seems to agree
that 23-year-old prospect Ike Davis is on the verge of joining the Mets, but it apparently won’t be today. Davis is in the lineup at Triple-A
this afternoon, batting cleanup and playing first base for Buffalo.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors notes
that it’s already late enough in the season that the Mets have delayed Davis’ free agency until after 2016, so that hurdle has been cleared. By waiting a bit longer they could also ensure he won’t reach “Super Two” arbitration status in his third season, but that’s less of a concern than pushing back Davis’ eventual free agency.
In other words, if the Mets are going to call up Davis it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference whether they do it today or later this week. But since we are talking about the Mets here, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they didn’t have a firm plan in place.
Also, while admittedly tough to do given the media attention surrounding his impending call-up expectations for Davis should be held in check. He was very impressive during spring training and is off to a tremendous start at Triple-A, but hitting .282 with a .467 slugging percentage and 159 strikeouts through 182 games in the minors doesn’t exactly scream instant impact and Davis has struggled against left-handed pitching.
He definitely projects as a good player long term and is probably better than Mike Jacobs or Daniel Murphy right now, but Davis is hardly a savior.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.