Did the Mets Sell Low on Ike Davis?
The Mets sent 1Bman Ike Davis to the Pirates for minor league pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named later. Thornton has a major league arm, but he turns 26 next month and has yet to pitch in the majors.
By all reports the real key to the deal is the PTBNL, who everyone assumes will be one of the Pirates’ 2013 draft picks, since these players can’t officially be traded until after the 2014 Draft in early June. Without knowing who the PTBNL is, it’s basically impossible to know whether the Mets got anything significant for Davis, who is still only 27 years old this season and has a great deal of talent, if not actual consistent major league performance.
One major league executive speculates the Met will receive either the Bucs’ fifth or sixth round picks last year, Trae Arbet or Adam Frazier. If so, the Mets surely won’t be getting value for Davis. Arbet was awful in rookie league ball last year. Frazier hit well in short-season A ball in 2013, but coming out of a major college program (Mississippi State), his performance there doesn’t say much about what he’s likely to do in the high minors in a couple of years. He’s not off to a hot start in the Class A+ Florida State League this season.
Others speculate the Mets may receive one of the Pirates’ second, third or four round picks Blake Taylor, JaCoby Jones and Cody Dickson. My guess is that Jones or Dickson are the most likely candidates.
However, teams receiving a player to be named later usually get a number of players to choose from at a later date, so they can scout the players and see who plays best between the time of the initial trade and the later date at which the PTBNL has to be selected and named. It’s possible the Mets will get to chose between all of Jones, Dickson, Arbet, Frasier and some other current Pirate prospects when the time for the selection comes.
The Bucs weren’t getting any offense out of Travis Ishikawa, the left-handed hitting piece of the first-base platoon they began the season with, and since the Bucs hope to contend this year, it’s quite possible they gave up something of value (i.e., Blake Taylor, the 51st overall pick in last year’s draft) to get Davis.
The trade is certainly a good one for Davis. He gets out of the media glare of New York City, and moves into a somewhat better hitters’ park for his home games. He also gets a fresh start with a team more likely to compete this year than the team he came from.
The Mets, I guess, get the certainty of having resolved the Ike Davis trade speculation, which had been in the air for some time, and can now move forward with other current and future 1B options. We’ll just have to wait and see if the PTBNL turns out to be someone who might actually help the Mets somewhere down the line.