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Davis calls Giants release ‘punch to the gut,' happy for role with A's

It didn’t take long for veteran third baseman J.D. Davis to find a home, and he’s certainly glad he did.

After being placed on waivers and subsequently released by the San Francisco Giants earlier this week, Davis officially signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with Oakland on Friday.

In speaking to MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos, Davis discussed his difficult week and why he’s optimistic about moving forward with the A’s.

“It was a punch to the gut,” Davis told Gallegos. “You’re getting the rug pulled out from under you in a way where you’re not expecting that entirely. … It’s just part of the business of baseball. But to have that happen, I definitely had some lows in there. However, this opportunity over here seems a little bit better than what it was over there, so I’m grateful for it.”

Davis was released by the Giants after the team signed former A’s third baseman Matt Chapman earlier this month, eliminating any possibility of an everyday role.

Now joining a young A’s team, Davis should have an opportunity to reprise his everyday role in 2024.

“There was a few things that were important to me during this process and all of those things matched up over here really well,” Davis shared with Gallegos.

“Going from one side of the Bay to the other side of the Bay is definitely nice. But the one thing talking to David [Forst] was the opportunity to play third base and get the most plate appearances. This was the best opportunity.”

While Davis will have an everyday role with Oakland, A’s manager Mark Kotsay will keep his options open at the hot corner with Davis bouncing around between third, first base and designated hitter.

“In terms of third base, I still think we’re going to see different guys go through that position,” Kotsay said. “We’re going to utilize J.D., and try to maximize the performance. He played a lot of games last year. He’s 30, and he’s got some wear and tear on him. He can also play first base, so there’s an opportunity over there, as well. As we always do here, we utilize matchups, and I think that’s part of the equation for where J.D. fits in.”

It certainly was not an easy week for Davis, who lost out on millions of dollars after beating the Giants in arbitration this offseason to secure a $6.9 million contract, but he certainly will make the best of an unfortunate situation.

“It was like it was meant to be,” Davis said.