J.D. Davis

Source: Giants place Davis on waivers following Chapman signing

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For all the excitement that the Matt Chapman addition brought to Giants camp, the move seemed like it would seal the fate of a key member of last year's lineup. That might happen sooner than expected.

A source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area that J.D. Davis has been placed on waivers, as FanSided's Robert Murray first reported Saturday. The Giants apparently could not find a suitable trade for Davis, who has been out of the lineup since March 4 and is not in either lineup for a split-squad day on Sunday.

"There's some stuff going on right now, so that's why he hasn't played," manager Bob Melvin said. "We'll see how it turns out here in the next day or so."

Davis now can be claimed by another organization, with the Giants getting only salary relief. Last year's starting third baseman is owed $6.9 million this season after beating the Giants in an arbitration hearing last month, but because he went to a hearing, the Giants can potentially release him and pay a prorated portion of that salary if he is not claimed. 

Davis started the spring opener as Chapman rumors swirled, but he has not played since the day after the Chapman deal was made official. He was in the original lineup for a game earlier this week but was later scratched. Chapman, the new starting third baseman, was in the lineup for the first time Thursday and started again on Saturday against the A's, his former team.

Chapman will be an everyday player and the Giants have plenty of depth at the position. In addition to Davis, they have young infielder Casey Schmitt and veteran Wilmer Flores, who mostly plays first base these days but remains an option at the other corner. Tyler Fitzgerald might make the team as a utility player, giving the roster another right-handed hitter who can handle third. David Villar, last year's initial third baseman, also remains on the 40-man roster.

The current roster lacks flexibility off the bench, leaving Davis in a tough spot after a solid first full season in San Francisco. Davis took over when Villar struggled and posted a .738 OPS with 18 homers. He took dramatic steps forward defensively and was worth 2.2 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs. 

When Chapman signed, Davis told reporters in Scottsdale that he didn't want to talk much about the situation, but he wanted to do what was best for the team. The Giants have determined this is their best path forward, and it's likely the best move for Davis, too. The 30-year-old will be a free agent after the season and now may get a chance for much more playing time elsewhere.

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