The Yankees like Ike Davis. But not enough to offer the former Mets first baseman a major-league contract, general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday night.
So Davis, who looked like a star in the making a few short years ago, has to decide if he is willing to sign a minor-league deal with the Yankees and spend the summer at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre waiting for Mark Teixeira to get hurt.
Teixeira has been hurt a lot lately. After the Yankees learned of Greg Bird’s season-canceling shoulder surgery, Cashman put out feelers for a first-base insurance policy he could stash at Scranton.
“We’ve talked to Ike Davis,” Cashman said. “That’s all I can tell you, really. We’ve talked to a lot of people. Again, in terms of the Greg Bird scenario, we clearly have a need for an everyday first baseman at Scranton. So anybody that we feel is of quality and can fit that bill and is interested and willing to play in Scranton, then we’re going to have those conversations with a number of different people. But we have talked to Ike as well.”
Davis, who hit 32 home runs as a Met in 2012, hit three for the A’s last season. He could choose a better opportunity to play in the majors than the Yankees can offer. Davis doesn’t play any other positions, and the Yankees are looking to create a more flexible bench.
That does not apply to Alex Rodriguez, however. Cashman reiterated that he will not play in the field at all in 2016. A-Rod’s brief time as a first baseman last season was a failure and will not be repeated even if Teixeira ends up on the disabled list again. Dustin Ackley is the current backup first baseman.
“Stop asking Alex questions,” Cashman said. “He’s not playing any position anymore. I think I put that exclamation point down in-season last year. He’s not playing anywhere. He’s a DH. He’s a very productive DH. For us to get maximum value out of Alex Rod riguez, he’s going to only DH. If we have to put him in the field somewhere, we’re in trouble. And that’s all due respect to Alex.”
Cashman was speaking at the Yankees’ steakhouse in Manhattan before a joint charity appearance with Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski.
The Red Sox played the Yankees’ traditional role by signing free-agent pitcher David Price to a $217-million contract this offseason. The Yankees are the only club that has not signed a major-league free agent — and they don’t plan to do so.