Pirates first baseman Ike Davis has been working out in the outfield recently to improve his versatility, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. And in related news, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Pirates are expected to non-tender Davis before the December 2 deadline to offer arbitration.
Pittsburgh looks set to go with Pedro Alvarez at first base, shifting the third baseman across the diamond following his extreme throwing problems this year. That leaves Davis as the odd man out after he hit just .233 with 11 homers and a .722 OPS in 143 games for the Mets and Pirates this season.
Davis still draws a bunch of walks, but his power has vanished since smacking 32 homers in 2012 and he’s got a .223 batting average in 402 games during the past three seasons. He’d be due around $5 million in 2015 via arbitration.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”
The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.
Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.