The Mariners took two first baseman off the board earlier today by agreeing to a deal with Corey Hart and acquiring Logan Morrison from the Marlins. Could Mets’ first baseman Ike Davis be the next domino to fall?
While nothing appears to be imminent, Jim Duquette of MLB Network Radio reports that the Brewers, Rays, and Pirates are all in the mix to acquire Davis. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York had a similar report earlier this afternoon. The Mets are said to be seeking a pitching prospect in return, with multiple reports stating that the Brewers turned down a swap involving right-hander Tyler Thornburg. It’s worth noting that the Brewers, Rays and Pirates have all been mentioned as possible landing spots for free agent first baseman James Loney, so something will have to give soon.
The Mets appear ready to turn the page on Davis after he batted just .205/.326/.334 with nine home runs and 33 RBI over 103 games this past season. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to make $3.5 million in arbitration, so clearing his salary could allow the Mets to make other moves. Lucas Duda is expected to take over full-time at first base in 2014.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.