The Yankees and free agent first baseman Ike Davis have agreed to a major league contract, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports (Twitter link). The lefty-swinging Davis will soon join the Yankees and team with right-handed hitter Rob Refsnyder to form a platoon at first, tweets Heyman.
Davis’ agreement with the Yankees means he’s returning to New York, where he began his career with the Mets and where his father, Ron, pitched for the Bombers from 1978-81. The Rangers released the 29-year-old from his minor league deal earlier today and he became an obvious fit for the Yankees, who have dealt with major injury issues at first base going back to Greg Bird’s offseason shoulder surgery. The team has also lost starter Mark Teixeira and a pair of reserves – Chris Parmelee and Dustin Ackley – to the disabled list in recent weeks, and will now hope to draw production from Davis. The Yankees courted Davis over the winter before he elected to sign with the Rangers, eventually leading New York to bring back veteran Nick Swisher on a minor league deal. Swisher hasn’t fared well at the Triple-A level this year, though, which is why the Yankees are turning to Davis.
In 2,377 major league plate appearances, Davis has slashed .239/.332/.416 with 81 home runs, a career-high 32 of which came in 2012. Most of the damage he’s done has come versus right-handed pitchers, against whom he owns a quality 122 wRC+. The Yankees’ hope is that Davis will be able to take advantage of the short right field porch at their stadium and post respectable production in a platoon with Refsnyder, thereby helping the club stay in the playoff hunt.