The market for first basemen got a little clearer at the winter meetings, when the Seattle Mariners grabbed two of the top players available at the position. The Mariners signed Corey Hart to a one year contract and also acquired Logan Morrison from the Miami Marlins, taking away two potential options for teams who need a first baseman. This is good news for the New York Mets, who are still looking to move Ike Davis but won't "give him away", in the words of General Manager Sandy Alderson. The two teams with the most interest in trading for Davis are the Milwaukee Brewers and Tampa Bay Rays, while the Pittsburgh Pirates remain on the periphery of talks.
Both the Brewers and Rays are interested in free agent first baseman James Loney, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin reports. Loney, 29, hit .299 with 13 home runs and 75 RBI's for the Rays last season and is also a steady glove man at first. Loney is expected to make a decision on his next move soon, leaving the runner up in position to talk to the Mets about Davis. The Brewers, in particular, have been very active in their pursuit of Davis. Alderson was spotted chatting with Brewers' GM Doug Melvin on his way out of the winter meetings, ESPN New York's Adam Rubin also reports. The Brewers reportedly want to move fast to acquire a first baseman, so if they can't acquire Loney they could act quickly to land Davis from the Mets.
Even though Davis is leaving the winter meetings a Met, he likely won't be staying in Queens for much longer. The Mets clearly feel as if Lucas Duda is a solid alternative for them at first base next season, leaving them searching to try and find value for Davis before his stock gets too low. The Mets are asking for young pitching for Davis, which teams have balked at so far. The Mets recently asked Milwaukee for Tyler Thornburg, who is slotted as the team's fifth starter, before being rebuffed. It remains to be seen what kind of return they get for Ike Davis, but a deal could happen within the next two weeks.
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