Through the offseason, we heard a bit about how the Orioles like Mets first baseman Ike Davis. They didn't like him enough to trade Eduardo Rodriguez to get him, though. Saturday, the New York Daily News reported that the Orioles offered Zach Britton to the Mets for Davis. That may have been their counteroffer to the Rodriguez offer. In any case, this trade was declined on the Mets end and now it's no longer on the table on the Orioles end.
In a fitting bit of timing, Davis hit a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam for the Mets on Saturday. Maybe now they won't want to trade him! He is also starting on Sunday.
NYDN seems convinced that the ultimate resolution will be that the Mets will trade him to someone for something, Davis having appeared to have lost the starting job at first base to Lucas Duda. Britton wasn't an enticing name to them at the time. After how he performed in spring training, he might be a bit more interesting to them. Too bad for the Mets he's more valuable to the Orioles as well.
The Orioles already have a left-handed power-hitting first baseman named Davis, so I've wondered all along how they hoped to use him if they managed to acquire him. Britton for Ike Davis - a swap of seemingly-busted prospects - may have seemed like a fair deal from the O's end at the time. Davis, who just turned 27, batted .205/.326/.334 last season. He hit 32 home runs in 2012, which is exciting, and has shown the valuable skill of taking a walk, but he hasn't hit for average since his rookie year.
After bombing a third chance as a major league starting pitcher last season, Britton looked before spring training to be a guy who was running out of chances. After last season, he had a 4.77 ERA in 254.2 big league innings. He is out of options and if he'd struggled in spring training, he might not have made the team.
We can figure that the O's were not sold on his chances of making a recovery or they wouldn't have offered him for Davis. Now spring training has come and gone and he's surprised everyone by being the best-looking pitcher the O's have had through the first five games.
Sure, he's only thrown four innings, and his success stands out more because of the struggles of most of the rest of the pitching staff, particularly the rotation. There's no guarantee he'll keep it up, and certainly no guarantee that he'll push his way back into the rotation or anything like that. Three months ago, he looked like a reclamation project. Now he looks like a key piece in the bullpen, perhaps even showing enough stuff to be worth trying as a starter.
That leaves what to do about Ike Davis a problem for the Mets and some other team to work out. The Orioles were interested, took their chance at him, and moved on.