Zach Duke (probably) signing with the Reds
I haven’t done one of these since Friday, partially because I was crunched for time all weekend but also because...nothing happened. Read that heading. “Zach Duke (probably) signing with the Reds” is the biggest roster news of the weekend. Woo! That’s not to disrespect Duke, who has been a very undervalued left-handed reliever for portions of his career and would have been an interesting addition for a Red Sox team that is just trying to acquire as much depth as humanly possible. If he were willing to sign a minor-league deal, they likely would have made a strong push. Nothing is official on this deal just yet, to be clear, but Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the two sides have a deal. Again, no disrespect to Duke, but he’s not really the kind of guy who gets follow-up reports and multiple levels of confirmation. The Reds are a very interesting team trying to compete in what is going to be a fun NL Central — it’s gotta be the most exciting division in baseball right now, right? — and Duke is a nice complimentary piece from the left side who can miss some bats and gets a ton of ground balls.
Matt Davidson signs with the Rangers
The other news from the weekend is even less exciting than the Duke signing, but there are two reasons to be at least somewhat interested in the Rangers signing Matt Davidson to a minor-league deal. For one thing, earlier in the winter it was rumored that the Rays were interested in the former White Sox third baseman. The Rays are expected to be closer to the top of division than the bottom, and they have a tendency to make the most of these kinds of signings. Which brings us to the second point: Davidson is going to be tried out as a two-way player. Now, I’ll say here what I said in that linked piece. I love the idea of trying more two-way players and hope it works out more, but Shohei Ohtani is a special talent and it’s a lot easier said than done. On top of that, someone like Davidson hasn’t really been training for this until very recently. I can see him as a designated mop-up man, but I’d be shocked if it worked out any better than that.