McGuiness, 25, is coming off his first Triple-A season where he batted .246 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI in 104 games last season for Round Rock. His plate discipline led to an on-base percentage of .369 and an OPS of .792. He also made his Major League debut last season, appearing in 10 mid-June games with the Rangers. In McGuiness, the Pirates get the left-handed bat they were looking for to platoon with Gaby Sanchez.
The trade likely impacts the market for Ike Davis as the Pirates were one of three teams who had reported interest in the Mets first baseman. the other two being the Orioles and Brewers.
The Mets unsuccessfully tried to get pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez from the Orioles for Davis, but were turned down. The O’s said they would need to be blown away to deal their young pitching prospect.
Sandy Alderson continues to hold out for a young pitcher for Davis, even if it means keeping him. My guess is that if Davis becomes the power hitter he’s been projected to be for another team, Alderson wants to make sure he gets a top arm out of it.
Seeing Davis become a 35+ home run hitter elsewhere would definitely sting. But will a team deal a top prospect on a hunch that Ike could be that guy? That’s the dilemma.
The Ike Davis rumors first caught fire at the GM Meetings and then again at the Winter Meetings when Sandy Alderson had several conversations with Brewers GM Doug Melvin in a trade for their young pitching prospect, Tyler Thornburg. However, those discussions fizzled out when the Brewers balked at the suggestion.
Surprisingly, there hasn’t been as much interest in Davis as many expected. Now 27, the former first rounder batted .205 last season with 101 strikeouts in 317 at-bats, and has also seen a decline in his defense.
Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger wrote today, that while Lucas Duda is also a left-handed-hitting first baseman teams may want, Mets officials have emphasized trading Davis isn’t mandatory. But given their public stance on trading a first baseman, they would like to before players report for spring training in mid-February.