Mets and Giants trade JD Davis for Darin Ruf

Mets acquired first baseman/left fielder The reputation Giants for third baseman JD Davis according SNY’s Andy Martino. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Postthe Giants also picked up left-handed Thomas Szapucki and A-ball pitchers Nick Zwack and Carson Seymour in trade.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the trade suggests the Mets think Ruf can help them more this year than Davis, as both are right-handed first hitters. Ruf, who just turned 36, continues to be left-handed this year. He has a 155 wRC+ in 337 plate appearances against lefties since returning from KBO in 2020, which ranks fourth in all of MLB. Ruf was also successful against right-handers in 2020-21, but struggled against them this year. He earns $3 million on the season, of which about $1 million remains. He also has a $3.5 million club option for 2022 with a $250,000 buyout. Ruf and his new acquisition Daniel Vogelbach make a great field at the designated hitter for the Mets.

Davis, 29, is under team control as a referee-eligible player for the 2023 and 24 seasons. Although not known for his glove, unlike Ruf, Davis is able to play at third base. Since arriving from the Astros on a trade in January 2019, Davis has posted a 125 wRC+ for the Mets in 1,100 board appearances. It hasn’t shown significant separation from the pack during this time and has posted stunning Statcast metrics at times. This year, however, Davis has only posted a 102 wRC+ for the Mets in 207 plate appearances and hasn’t made many starts lately. Davis became particularly consumable with the Mets signing of Edward Escobar in November plus the acquisition of Vogelbach. Davis played 140 games for the Mets in 2019, but has only played 195 games since 2020 due to injuries.

In Szapucki, the Giants get a southpaw with a pair of major league appearances to his name. Szapucki has primarily operated as a starter in the minors, posting a solid 21.6 K-BB% in 64 Triple-A innings this year. Before last season, Baseball America rated him a 45-year-old prospect, saying he could “get three pitches for strikes” and needed to get his speed back after spending 2020 at the Mets’ alternate site. Szapucki indeed did, working at 90.9 miles per hour in his only 2021 MLB appearance, but tossing to 95.1 in a brutal May 25 outing in San Francisco during which he gave up nine earned runs while recording only four outs. Apparently, the Giants brass liked what they saw on that outing, despite their hitters beating Szapucki with four home runs.

Zwack, a 24-year-old southpaw, moved up to High-A in May and excelled with a 22.8 K-BB%. A 2021 17th-round pick from Xavier University, it remains to be seen if Zwack can maintain his success against opponents closer to his age. Seymour, a 23-year-old right-hander, entered the Brooklyn Cyclones rotation around the same time as Zwack. With a 25.0 K-BB%, he was also successful outside of longball. Seymour was drafted by the Mets in the sixth round in 2021 from Kansas State.

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