In a flurry of activity over the past few weeks, four Jewish Major Leaguers will ply their trade in new locations for the 2015 season.
First baseman Ike Davis, who split time between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates, was acquired by the Oakland As. He joins fellow JMLs, outfielder Sam Fuld and first baseman Nate Freiman, for the time being; Freiman will probably start the new campaign in the minor leagues or in a different organization altogether since the As signed high-priced free agent Billy Butler, who also plays that position.
Davis’ former Mets teammate, Josh Satin, was signed to a minor league deal by the Cincinnati Reds. Maybe the fresh start will do him good; he batted just .086 (three hits in 35 at bats) in limited duty.
The Detroit Tigers also have their share of Jews: Manager Brad Ausmus goes into his second year with all-star Ian Kinsler anchoring second base. Add to the mix relief pitcher Josh Zeid, who spent part of last season with the Houston Astros. Zeid has played under Ausmus before as a member of the Israeli National Team that participated in the World Baseball Classic qualifier in 2012.
The most frequent flier miles, however, go to pitcher Aaron Poreda, who was traded by the Texas Rangers to the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. Poreda returned to the Majors after a five-year absence, appearing in 26 games. Both he and Zeid spent considerable time on the shelf with arm injuries in 2014.