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Pirates designate Ike Davis for assignment

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Davis and his intriguing on-base skills are now in DFA limbo.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Pirates designated first baseman Ike Davis for assignment on Thursday as part of a group of transactions to create 40-man roster space, the team announced.

Davis, 27, hit .235/.343/.378 in 397 plate appearances for the Pirates after he was acquired in a trade with the New York Mets on April 18. Despite the pedestrian line, Davis was actually above average in terms of OPS+, thanks in large part to his ability to find his way on base. The Arizona State alum's 14.8 percent walk rate ranked fourth in baseball -- and first in the National League -- among players with 400 or more plate appearances.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told reporters on Thursday, "If we started the season tomorrow, Pedro Alvarez would be our starting first baseman," per Rob Biertempfel of the Piittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Alvarez was an All-Star at third base for Pittsburgh in 2013, but injuries and ineffectiveness cut into his playing time in 2014. Alvarez started 95 games at third base in 2014, but gave way by season's end at the hot corner to utility man Josh Harrison. Alvarez did start five games at first base for the Pirates in 2014, his only professional appearances at the position.

The Pirates also designated catcher Ramon Cabrera for assignment and outrighted infielder Brent Morel to Triple-A Indianapolis. The moves allowed the team the necessary 40-man roster spots to claim Pedro Florimon off of waivers from the Washington Nationals and select the contracts of minor leaguers Elias Diaz, Willy Garcia, Nick Kingham and Jameson Taillon, protecting them from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.