Rajai Davis, Indians Reportedly Agree to Minor League Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2018

Boston Red Sox's Rajai Davis smiles during batting practice before a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians, Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Cleveland Indians bolstered their outfield depth Saturday when they signed Rajai Davis to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He previously played for the team in 2016.

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com confirmed the news.

Davis played 100 games for the Oakland Athletics and 17 games for the Boston Red Sox during the 2017 season, slashing .235/.293/.348 with five home runs and 20 RBI. The Red Sox acquired Davis via trade from the Athletics in August, but he didn't take a single at-bat during their American League Division Series loss to the Houston Astros.

Davis is likely best known for the game-tying home run he hit off the Chicago Cubs' Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series as a member of the Indians, but he has turned in a handful of productive seasons since he entered the league in 2006.

He has laced it up for the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Indians and Red Sox throughout his career, and he's served as a base-stealing threat for much of his prime.

He swiped 43 bags in 2016 with Cleveland—while also hitting a career-high 12 home runs—and tallied 29 steals in 2017. In all, he has 10 seasons with more than 20 steals, seven with more than 30, five with more than 40 and nabbed 50 in 2010.

Davis has never been a significant source of power—the 2016 campaign is the only time he reached double-digit home runs—but sports a career slash line of .264/.313/.384.

If he retains his base-stealing skills and mixes in the occasional clutch hit, which he proved he can do with the Indians, Davis will be a valuable additional outfielder for the Tribe throughout the 2018 campaign.

He'll likely battle Brandon Guyer for a roster spot in spring training.   

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