According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Tampa Bay Rays are interested in adding infielder and part-time pitcher Matt Davidson to their roster as a potential two way player.
The ever-creative #Rays are looking at free agent Matt Davidson as a potential two-way addition, sources say. Brendan McKay, the team’s No. 2 prospect per @MLBPipeline and fourth overall pick in 2017 draft, reached High A last season as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 13, 2019
Davidson, who will turn 28 in March, has some power at the plate but struggles with an elevated strike out rate. The Chicago White Sox non-tendered him in November after a season in which he hit .228/.319/.418 with 20 HR over 496 plate appearances. He is mainly a first baseman, but can also play at third. He made three pitching appearances over the course of the season and actually racked up a couple of strikeouts against the 11 hitters he faced.
Brooks Baseball has info on his repertoire:
Matt Davidson threw 44 pitches that were tracked by the PITCHf/x system in 2018, all of them occuring in the MLB Regular Season. In 2018, he relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (90mph) and Curve (72mph), also mixing in a Change (80mph).
2018 PitchingNinja Award for Position Player Pitcher of the Year.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 14, 2018
Matt Davidson pic.twitter.com/Moj67B2NFP
Davidson was taken 35th overall in the 2009 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He eventually became a top 100 prospect in the game, landing as high as 72nd overall following the 2013 season, after making his MLB debut earlier that year. He was dealt to the Chicago White Sox that offseason for Addison Reed.
Davidson didn’t return to the majors with the Southsiders until 2016. In 2017, he made his name known with his power, blasting 26 HR over 443 PA, but still struggled in other facets of the game, registering a 84 wRC+ and accruing -0.9 fWAR.
The Rays may have an opening on their roster for a designated hitter/first baseman if the right player should come along. Davidson could provide an interesting option for them as a power option off the bench, as well as an extra arm out of the bullpen.