The Pirates now have 10 days to either work out a trade for Davis or release him.
Davis was acquired by the Pirates in a trade with the New York Mets in April. He became the left-handed part of a platoon with Gaby Sanchez at first base the rest of the season, hitting .235 with a .721 OPS, 10 home runs and 46 RBI in 131 games with Pittsburgh.
The move clears the way for third baseman Pedro Alvarez to play first base full time next season. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Alvarez would be the team's first baseman if the season started tomorrow.
“It comes down to spots,” Davis said by phone to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review from Los Angeles. “There's only one first baseman on a team. When you've got three, someone's got to be the odd man out. It was me.”
In five career seasons, Davis has hit .240 with a .759 OPS and 78 home runs.
Alvarez, Pittsburgh's every day third baseman since 2012, played five games at first base last season. Coming off his first All-Star appearance last year, Alvarez slumped in 2014, hitting .231 with a .717 OPS and 18 home runs in just 122 games.
Alvarez didn't play after Sept. 5 this season due to a stress reaction in his foot.
The Pirates made several other transactions as well on Thursday, designating catcher Ramon Cabrera for assignment, outrighting infielder Brent Morel to Triple A Indianapolis, claiming infielder Pedro Florimon off waivers from the Washington Nationals and adding four other players to the 40-man roster, including pitcher Jameson Taillon.
- Ben Estes