NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets traded slumping first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, parting ways with a power hitter who proved to be too inconsistent at the plate.
Pittsburgh sent minor league right-hander Zack Thornton and a player to be named to New York for the 27-year-old Davis.
The Mets announced the deal just minutes before a 6-0 loss to Atlanta. Davis was on the field during batting practice earlier in the day.
The Pirates had searched all winter for a first baseman, without success in the trade and free-agent markets.
"Ultimately, we found the right fit," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.
"Hopefully this is a move that solves our first base needs for years to come," he said.
The lefty-swinging Davis hit 32 homers for the Mets in 2012, but fell off sharply last year.
"Obviously, I didn't play as well as I should have," he said.
Davis was hitting .208 with one home run and five RBIs in 24 at-bats. He lost his starting job to Lucas Duda and was relegated to a part-time role with the Mets, who also have Josh Satin at first base.
"You can't play a major league season with three first basemen, so one of us had to go," Davis said outside the Mets' clubhouse after the game started.
"Obviously it's an emotional time, but we aren't there bawling our eyes out," he said.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the team decided several months ago to trade Davis.
"We are happy for Ike and it was a situation we needed to resolve," Alderson said.
"I would not say that we lost patience with Ike. At some point you have to make a decision about players on the roster, so we simply had to make a choice."
Said Mets star David Wright: "It happened late so I don't think a lot of guys knew, but Ike will be missed. Through thick and thin, Ike was the best teammate I've ever had."
The Mets filled Davis' roster spot by activating outfielder Chris Young from the 15-day disabled list. He started in center field.
"Happy to be back," Young said before the game. "Seems like it's been forever, for some reason."
Young had been out with an injured right quadriceps. He played one inning in the field for the Mets during the opening week and was pulled before he came to bat.
Davis, the son of former big league pitcher Ron Davis, was a promising prospect when he hit 19 homers with 71 RBIs while batting .264 as a rookie in 2010. He got off to a strong start the following year, hitting .302 with seven homers and 25 RBIs in 36 games, but missed most of the season with an ankle injury.