8:59pm: The contract contains an invite to the Rangers’ big league Spring Training camp, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets.
8:20pm: The Rangers will sign first baseman Ike Davis to a minor league contract, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link). Reports earlier in the week suggested Davis was close to finding a new home, with the Yankees noted as one of the teams in the hunt for Davis’ services. The Brewers were also linked to Davis earlier this winter.
Davis, 28, has spent the last three seasons looking to recapture the form that saw him slug 32 homers for the Mets in 2012. Since that seeming breakout year, Davis has hit just .222/.328/.356 over 1043 plate appearances with the Mets, Pirates and Athletics, and his career-long struggles against southpaws has limited the left-handed hitting Davis to only part-time action against righty pitching. His rough 2015 season in Oakland came to an abrupt end after undergoing hip labrum surgery in August, and the A’s then non-tendered Davis rather than pay him a projected $3.8MM in arbitration.
From the Rangers’ perspective, Davis is a low-cost reclamation project who can be used as minor league depth at the very least. There isn’t a clear path to Major League playing time for Davis on the Texas roster, given that the Rangers’ other top first base/DH options (Prince Fielder, Mitch Moreland, Josh Hamilton) are all also left-handed hitters.