Ike Davis trade: Mets, Pirates deal could benefit both sides

USA TODAY Sports

Davis gets to turn over a new leaf and Lucas Duda will get a chance be the go-to guy in New York.

Now that Ike Davis is a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, he might finally be able to settle into an organization and tap into the potential he showed in 2012.

The Mets might not be getting any marquee prospects in return -- reliever Zach Thornton and a player to be named -- but they will open up an everyday spot for Lucas Duda that wasn't there with Davis attempting to scratch his way back into the player New York was excited about heading into 2013.

Pittsburgh clearly bought low on Davis, although the PTBNL might be a solid minor-leaguer as well.

Thornton, 25, is a right-handed reliever who reached Triple-A for the first time last season where he put up a 3.91 ERA in 25⅓ innings. He's off to a strong start in short work this year -- 1.23 ERA in 7⅓ innings -- but he didn't appear on any major prospect lists this winter. He's put together a strong strikeout-to-walk ratio (285-63 in 252 innings) in his five-year career. He could help a depleted Mets bullpen as early as this season.

But the main piece of the trade is Davis. When a guy hits 30-plus homers and bats in over 90 runs in a year, teams take notice. Davis actually posted the worst on-base percentage of his career during his "best season." He finished that year hitting .227/.308/.462.

Davis might slide into a platoon with Pirates current first baseman Gaby Sanchez to begin his time with Pittsburgh, but if he's able to combine the power he displayed in 2012 with the on-base percentage from the rest of his career, he could be a solid contributor for his new club.

Duda clearly benefits from the deal as well.

Duda has hit .251/.348/.427, good for a 116 OPS+, since the start of 2011, while splitting time between the outfield and first base. With Davis out of the picture, Duda can attempt to earn the Mets' first base gig without Davis looming.

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