Veteran outfielder Rajai Davis agreed to a deal with the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, pending a physical, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Per Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, it's a one-year deal that is believed to be worth $5.25 million plus incentives.
A top-of-the-order man who doesn't necessarily hit for average, Davis finds his way on base thanks to his speed. This season, however, his speed numbers were down as he stole just 18 bases. He had 34 or more in each of the past six seasons.
However, Davis appeared in just 112 games because of splitting time with 25-year-old Tyler Collins in left field.
Despite seeing a decrease in playing time, Davis expressed his desire to stay in Detroit, according to Matthew B. Mowery of the Macomb Daily: "If it was up to me, it would be very, very nice to stay. But it’s a collective decision, and you gotta go from there. ... It certainly is a business decision, especially when my family’s involved. Best situation for us. It could happen. Anything is possible.
By dealing center fielder Michael Bourn to the Atlanta Braves at the trade deadline in 2015, the Indians lost speed and a bat at the top of the order who complemented second baseman Jason Kipnis.
The Indians were also in need of a decent bat in the outfield to add some support for left fielder Michael Brantley, who was one of the team's most productive hitters with a .310 batting average with 15 home runs and 84 RBI.
Right fielder Brandon Moss, who matched Brantley's 15 home runs last season, batted just .217.
A .269 lifetime hitter, Davis could provide those things as he helps address the Indians' issue of depth in the outfield. At times last season, Cleveland resorted to playing Lonnie Chisenhall, usually a third baseman, in the outfield.
The Indians' newest acquisition is versatile enough to play at any outfield position, appearing at all three last season with the Tigers. He will be a nice addition to a Cleveland team trying to piece together a contender in the American League Central.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.