MLB hot stove: The Rays are reportedly taking a gander at a free operator slugger as a two-way player

In an effort to maximize their 25 roster spots, the Tampa Bay Rays are allegedly taking a gander at free operator slugger Matt Davidson as a potential two-way player. Davidson would apparently fill in as a corner infielder – he’s played first base in addition to third base, his regular position – and assigned hitter, and furthermore pitch in relief on occasion.

Last season Davidson, 27, put up a .228/.319/.419 batting line with 20 home runs in 496 plate appearances for the White Sox. He smacked 46 home runs the most recent two years combined for Chicago. The ChiSox non-tendered Davidson after last season instead of pay him a projected $2.4 million in 2019.

Notwithstanding his power production, Davidson likewise took the mound three times in blowout games, striking out two in three scoreless innings. Statcast says his fastball topped out at 92.3 mph, and his curveball looked truly great as well.

Before the end of last year Davidson told Bruce Levine of 670 The Score that he’s available to being a two-way player going ahead, which is imperative. Buy-in is vital for something like this succeed. This is what Davidson told Levine:

“This is something that will take a lot more work in for me,” Davidson said in late September. “I think it is something that can be done. It is something I am passionate about, so I enjoy doing it. I told them this is something I wouldn’t mind doing.”

In the same way as many players, Davidson pitched in high school, so dislike last season was his first time ever on a mound. He was never considered much of a pro prospect as a pitcher however, for the most part since he offered so much power potential at the plate.

The Rays as of now have two-way players in their farm system. Brendan McKay, the fourth overall pick in 2017, had a 2.41 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 78 1/3 Single-An innings last season, and furthermore hit .214/.368/.359 with six home runs in 242 plate appearances. Tanner Dodson, Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in 2018, will play the outfield and pitch in relief going ahead.

Shohei Ohtani surpassed desires last season and showed being a two-way player is possible. He thrived with the two sides of the ball. Davidson will most likely be unable to begin, yet he could pitch in relief, and we as a whole realize the Rays like to get inventive with their bullpen. In the event that the two sides do agree to a deal, Davidson figures to see much more time on the mound going forward.

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