The Diamondbacks announced several roster moves today, selecting the contract of Matt Davidson. To open a spot on the active roster, right-handed pitcher Corbin Martin was optioned to Triple-A Reno. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander Matt Peacock was designated for assignment.
This will be a homecoming for Davidson, who was drafted by Arizona in 2009 and made his MLB debut with the D-Backs in 2013. He has one of the more unusual résumés in the game, as he’s primarily been a power-hitting corner infielder with a penchant for strikeouts, but also tried his hand at being a two-way player, throwing 6 1/3 MLB innings thus far in his career. However, he hasn’t pitched in the majors or minors since 2020, suggesting he’s focusing on hitting for now. In addition to the Snakes, he’s spent some time in the big leagues with the White Sox and Reds, hitting 52 homers in 298 career games. His overall slash line is .223/.292/.433, with a 34.2% strikeout rate. He spent last year hitting well for the Dodgers’ Triple-A team but never got the call to the show. Arizona signed him to a minor league deal in the offseason and he’s gotten off to a tremendous start, hitting eight homers in 11 games and slashing an incredible .386/.471/.955, though still striking out 27.5% of the time.
He’s been exclusively at first base and designated hitter so far this year, meaning the D-Backs will likely use him in the same way at the big league level. Christian Walker has seen the bulk of playing at first for Arizona this year, but is hitting just .132/.267/.316 thus far. If Davidson can provide even half of what he was doing in the minors, he’d be a big upgrade. He also has three years and 112 days of service time, meaning he could be kept around for another couple of seasons via arbitration if the 31-year-old can emerge as a regular in the lineup, like he was for the White Sox in 2017-18.
As for Peacock, he was a 23rd round selection of the club in the 2017 draft. He was added to the team’s 40-man roster prior to the 2020 Rule 5 draft. He made his MLB debut last year and tossed 86 1/3 innings with a 4.90 ERA. His 13% strikeout rate was well below average, but he paired that with a strong 59.2% groundball rate and 7.3% walk rate. He’s tossed 2 2/3 innings for the big league club so far this year. Now 28 years old, Peacock will likely head to the waiver wire in the coming days. He still has options and could attract the attention of teams in need of extra pitching depth in the minors.