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 Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.