Rajai Davis to A's: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2017

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 26: Rajai Davis #20 of the Cleveland Indians smiles after scoring against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 26, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Outfielder Rajai Davis signed with the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported Davis' one-year deal worth $6 million from the A's. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle confirmed the deal, adding Davis can receive another $450,000 in performance bonuses.

Davis, 36, had a solid season in 2016 for the Cleveland Indians, hitting .249 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, 74 runs scored and an AL-high 43 stolen bases. While he is probably best served platooning in the outfieldhe often sat against left-handed pitching with the Indianshe can still offer solid production.

He has a .780 career OPS against left-handed pitching, but he actually hit better against righties (.708) than southpaws (.670) in 2016, per Baseball-Reference.com

While Davis' offensive numbers were nothing special, he provided one of 2016's most dramatic moments with a game-tying two-run homer off Chicago Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series. 

Davis is also still a terror on the basepaths, giving him a lot of value for an Oakland team that only stole 50 bases in 2016, the fifth-lowest mark in the majors. His defense in center has been all over the place throughout his career, with FanGraphs noting he cost Cleveland five runs at the position last season. 

Going to Oakland's spacious coliseum likely won't improve Davis' defensive metrics, but his speed and ability to create scoring opportunities on the bases make him a worthy investment for the A's. 

There may be questions about whether Davis can sustain his level of play, as he's well into his 30s. He was a pleasant surprise for Cleveland in 2016, and his play was a big reason for the club's Cinderella postseason run.

If Davis can replicate his success from last season, the A's will have landed one of the better low-key free-agent signings.

      

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