The Dodgers have inked infielder Brendon Davis and catcher Chris Okey to minor league deals, according to the transaction logs and each player’s MLB.com profile page. It’s unclear if either deal comes with an invitation to MLB Spring Training next month.
It’s a reunion for Davis, 26, who was selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. His first stint in the organization was a short one, however, as Davis was among the prospects L.A. shipped to the Rangers to acquire right-hander Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline just two years after he had been drafted. Davis’s stay in the Rangers organization was only slightly longer. He played in the club’s organization in the 2017-19 seasons and reached the Double-A level during that time before missing the 2020 season due to the cancelled minor league season. The following offseason, Davis was plucked from the Rangers organization by the Angels in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft.
Davis’s return to southern California was a successful one, as he slashed .290/.362/.561 across three levels during the 2021 season, including a .333/.409/.641 slash line in a 33-game taste of the Triple-A level. 2022 saw him get a full season of experience in Triple-A, though his numbers fell back down to Earth a bit as he slashed just .235/.340/.424. Most of that production came in the Tigers organization, as Detroit claimed him off waivers from the Angels in May of that year. Davis even saw his first taste of big league action during the 2022 season thanks to a brief late-season call-up from the Tigers, though he collected just two hits, a walk, and a stolen base while striking out three times in 11 trips to the plate during his three-game stint in the majors.
Davis remained in Detroit for the 2023 season but struggled badly at Triple-A early in the season, slashing .178/.289/.363 and making it into just 43 games before the club released him back in June. Now back with the team that drafted him nearly a decade ago, Davis figures to provide the Dodgers with a depth option in the upper minors going forward. The 26-year-old boasts experience at all four infield spots and all three outfield spots, though he’s spent most of his time on the left side of the infield to this point in his career.
As for Okey, the 29-year-old was a second-round pick by the Reds back in 2016 and slowly worked his way up the minor league ladder, eventually reaching Triple-A in 2019. After the aforementioned layoff in 2020, Okey managed a respectable .237/.330/.379 slash line in 2021 before making his big league debut the following June. Okey’s time in the majors that season lasted just seven games, however, before he was designated for assignment and spent the rest of the season back at Triple-A.
After electing minor league free agency that winter, Okey caught on with the Angels on a minor league deal. An early-season injury to Logan O’Hoppe provided a potential opportunity for Okey at the big league level but the club ultimately relied primarily on the services of Matt Thaiss and Chad Wallach until O’Hoppe returned in August, with Okey appearing in just two games at the big league level. He struck out in both of his plate appearances in the majors last year, though he did manage to hit a respectable .281/.345/.414 in 235 trips to the plate with the club’s Triple-A affiliate last year.
Going forward, Okey will remain in southern California with the Halos’ geographic rival in L.A. as a depth option behind the plate. The club seems largely set behind the plate thanks to the long-standing tandem of Will Smith and Austin Barnes, but the presence of Okey could allow the club to avoid rushing a prospect like Diego Cartaya, Hunter Feduccia, or Dalton Rushing to the majors in the event of an injury.