The New York Yankees have not had much luck with their first basemen so far this year. They’ve been plagued by injuries at the position throughout the 2016 season. To try and deal with this problem, the team signed former New York Met Ike Davis on Sunday.
Davis, 29, started the 2016 season with the Texas Rangers organization. He was assigned to Triple-A to start the year and was never called up. On Sunday, Davis opted out of his minor league contract with the Rangers so he could pursue a major league contract. He knew that the Yankees were interested in him. The contract they signed him to is for one year and is worth $1.5 million.
It’s obvious why the Yankees decided to go after Davis. They’ve had so many injuries at the first base position. Before the season even started, their young power-hitting first baseman Greg Bird needed to have shoulder surgery and was ruled out for the entirety of 2016. Mark Teixeira was placed on the disabled list back in early June due to torn articular cartilage in his right knee. Teixeira has battled injury problems with his knee for years now. Utility infielder Dustin Ackley suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder in late May, requiring surgery. He’ll most likely miss the rest of the season.
With their options limited, the Yankees turned to Davis. Although he’s not the ideal candidate for first base, the team could do worse. In Triple-A with the Round Rock Express, he was hitting .268 with four home runs and 25 RBIs. As far as his Major League numbers go, Davis is a lifetime .239 hitter. A left-handed hitter with a decent amount of power, he once hit 32 home runs in a season. This came in 2012 while he was still with the Mets. The Mets traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in April of 2014. He was traded again during the 2014 offseason, this time to the Oakland Athletics. Davis only batted .229 with three homers and 20 RBIs during his lone season in Oakland.
Although Davis hasn’t put up great offensive numbers in his career, he could potentially hit a decent amount of home runs in Yankee Stadium due to the short porch in right field. Additionally, he fields his position very well. He was known for making great defensive plays while he was with the Mets. The Yankees are planning on having him platoon first base with Rob Refsnyder, who bats right-handed. Davis also has a family connection with the Yankees. His father, Ron Davis, pitched for the Yankees from 1978-1981. Playing for his father’s old team could potentially motivate Ike.
The Yankees signed Ike Davis out of desperation. They basically ran out of options at first base. However, they have a chance to catch lighting in a bottle with him. After all, former Mets have had success with the Yankees in the past. The most recent examples of this are Chris Young and Carlos Beltran. He might actually be able to really help the team in this time of need.