The A’s announced today they’ve signed corner infielder Matt Davidson to a minor league contract. He’ll report to Triple-A Las Vegas. Oakland also agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Jorge Juan, whom they’d released over the weekend.
Davidson began the season with the Diamondbacks, opening the year with their top affiliate in Reno. The big right-handed hitter blasted eight home runs in 11 games for the Aces, and the Snakes promoted him in late April. Davidson went yard in his first plate appearance of the season in the majors as well, but he went hitless in his other nine at-bats. The D-Backs designated him for assignment when active rosters were reduced last Monday. He cleared outright waivers but declined the assignment in favor of free agency.
While the 31-year-old will remain in the Pacific Coast League to start his A’s tenure, he presumably believes there’s a clearer path to another MLB job in Oakland than there’d been in the desert. The A’s have primarily relied on Sheldon Neuse, Kevin Smith and Seth Brown in the corner infield this season. Neuse has done well in spite of poor strikeout and walk numbers, but neither Smith nor Brown has gotten off to a good start. Davidson is a career .222/.292/.433 hitter in a bit more than 1000 MLB plate appearances.
Juan, 23, has yet to even reach Double-A. His contract was nevertheless selected last November as the A’s set their 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 draft (which never ended up transpiring). Unfortunately, Juan has spent the entire 2022 season on the minor league injured list. Injured players can’t be outrighted, so the A’s could only remove him from the 40-man by releasing him or placing him on the MLB 60-day injured list (which would’ve required paying him the prorated portion of the $700K MLB minimum salary). The A’s chose to release him but brought him back on a non-roster deal after he cleared waivers.