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A’s nominee JD Davis for Assignment

OA appoint a cornerback JD Davis per share, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan (X link). Martín Gallegos of reports (in X) that the A’s miss an outfielder Lawrence Butler from Triple-A Las Vegas in what could be a consistent move. Oakland has not yet announced the trade, which could be made official tomorrow since the A’s are off tonight.

It will end the time in Oakland for Davis, who came to the A’s in somewhat controversial fashion. He and the Giants went to the negotiating table in the offseason. Davis won that hearing and was set for a salary of $6.9MM. Arbitration salaries are not fully guaranteed until Opening Day unless the team and player agree to terms prior to the hearing. The bullies signed Matt Chapman a few weeks into Spring Training. Instead of pushing Davis to the bench, the Giants let him go under a lot of money.

San Francisco paid him a 30-day termination fee, about $1.1MM, sending him to the open market. Davis’ late entry into free agency didn’t do him any good. He signed with the A’s on a $2.5MM deal that includes another $1MM in incentives.

His run in green and gold didn’t go particularly well. Davis missed several weeks with an adductor strain and appeared in 39 games. He hit .236/.304/.366 with four homers in 135 trips to the plate. That’s league-average production in a pitcher-friendly home park and a low-run center. Yet Davis needs to be an above-average hitter to provide full value. He is a limited defender who has spent most of his time early this season.

Davis has gotten 97 innings at the hot corner and posted 148 frames at first. His defensive grades weren’t great in any area. While this year’s career is a very small sample size, that matches Davis’ perfect record as a defensive third baseman.

Still, Fullerton’s production has been consistent throughout most of his career. He was an above average hitter every season from 2019-22, posting a combined .276/.363/.457 in over 1200 plate appearances between the Mets and Giants. During that time, Davis walked at a solid 10.5% clip and showed above-average ability to slash a 27.3% strikeout rate. He had a major league average of .248/.325/.413 with a career-high 18 homers in 144 games in his final season with the Giants.

At the time they signed him, the A’s planned for Davis to play regularly at third base and hit well enough to be traded during the season. In recent weeks, he has been shown the way to the bench. Abraham Toro He jumped Davis for the third career start with an excellent showing in May. Toro hasn’t hit at all in June, yet the A’s are sticking with him at the plate. He is under arbitration control in 2026. Tyler Soderstrom, one of the top offensive talents in the organization, plays regularly at first. Soderstrom has emerged as a promising prospect to bat first but appears to be a better fit over the long haul at first because of his presence Shea Langeliers.

OA will have five days from the time of Davis’ official DFA to explore trade opportunities. (Players can spend up to a week in DFA limbo, but teams need to start the 48-hour waiver process within five days if they can’t arrange a trade.) Any return would be modest, but not out of the question. the A’s find someone willing to part with or all of the roughly $1.38MM remaining on his contract. If there are no takers, Davis will be a free agent in about a week – with a waiver or opting out of the minors’ direct assignment.

There are a few teams that could look to add a cornerback. The Yankees lost Anthony Rizzo more than a month until the forearm fracture. The Red Sox haven’t gotten much Dominic Smith at first, though they could just wait things out Residences in Triston Casas about a few weeks from the return. The Astros were eliminated José Abreu last week and rely on Jon Singleton/Mauricio Dubón platoon at first. The Nationals and Pirates haven’t gotten much at the position, and the Reds may be without a good first baseman. Christian Encarnacion-Strand until the end of the season.

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