The Tampa Bay Rays are once again in the market for a first baseman and one under the radar name is Matt Davidson
In a very Rays-like move, the Chicago White Sox surprised the baseball world by non-tendering Matt Davidson this offseason.
Matt Davidson is a very Rays type of player. While fans, including myself, are salivating over the possibility of a Jose Martinez trade, a Matt Davidson addition might be a bit more likely.
Davidson is looking for an organization to bring him in with arms wide open and allow him to have a bounce-back year. That sounds a lot like Logan Morrison, and especially C.J. Cron who enjoyed a career year in Tampa during the 2018 campaign before being bounced to the Twin Cities.
Matt Davidson is a slugging corner infielder who is underrated by the more casual fans in the baseball community. Let’s face it as Rays fans, we know what it is like to have guys be overlooked due to the national media not paying attention, and that is some of what happened to Matt Davidson.
Matt Davidson has had a very consistent two-year career (excluding his one-game Major League stint in 2016, and 31 game cup of coffee in 2013)
A year ago, Davidson slugged 20 homers in 123 games and earned 99 hits with 52 drawn walks, and 62 runs batted in. The 27-year-old slashed for a line of .228/.319/.419 with a .738 OPS.
In 2017, Davidson hit a career-high 26 homers and plated 68 runs. his batting averaged dipped down to .220 as did his OPS, down to .711.
One thing that will bring Rays fans joy, is that Matt Davidson does not hit into many double plays! With runners in scoring position, the corner infielder hits for a .263-average. He enjoyed a plus one offensive WAR a year ago.
In his career, he has performed better at the plate in the first half of the season, rather than the second half.
The Rays would not have to pay much of anything for Matt Davidson and obviously will not have to give up any prospects like they would in a potential Jose Martinez deal.
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Should the Rays bank on another bounce-back candidate? Or, trade for someone who looks like a can’t miss option in Jose Martinez?