Come To Think of It: Oakland A's Rajai Davis Worth a Look for Chicago Cubs

Bob Warja@@bobwarjaSenior Writer IDecember 21, 2009

Presuming that the Oakland A's move forward with their signing of Coco Crisp, there will be somewhat of a logjam in the outfield for the Athletics.

Fortunately for Billy Beane, Cubs GM Jim Hendry just happens to be looking for a center fielder.

While the rumors continue to circulate about Byrd being the word for the Cubs, don't dismiss the possibility of a trade with Oakland. Hendry has worked deals with Beane before, most recently the Jake Fox trade, plus Davis fits the mold of the type of player Hendry should be looking for.

That is, a slightly above league average offensive player who plays excellent defense, runs well, and is cheap. Davis will make just slightly above the minimum in 2010.

Meanwhile, all that money the Cubs got in the Bradley deal? It basically amounts to about $5 million spread over two seasons, given that Silva is owned more than Bradley.

So, with Crisp on the verge of signing for $5 million, one could expect Byrd to want at least that much, and perhaps more, so we can't be sure that Hendry has the scratch to satisfy that itch.

The A's will have Crisp in center, Ryan Sweeney in right (UZR loved him last year), as well as Scott Hairston, Aaron Cunningham, Travis Buck ,and the newly acquired Michael Taylor in the mix. 

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I don't know how much of a return Beane would want for Davis, but I do know that the man can throw around the leather. In roughly two-thirds of a season in center field, his UZR was +11.9.

A .305/.360./423 slash with 41 steals in 390 ABs in 2009, the right-handed hitting 29-year-old Davis seems like a good, inexpensive solution for the Cubs right now.

The A's would like a shortstop, but there's no way I'd give them Starlin Castro. If Castro was ready, you might consider sending Ryan Theriot to Oakland, but that would be too risky. 

Neither Jeff Baker nor Mike Fontenot can play shortstop, so I'm not sure there's a match here, unless Beane desires Andy While, er, Andres Blanco.

Perhaps a combination of Blanco plus a spare pitching part like Mitch Atkins would get it done.

In any event, it's clear the Cubs could use more defense and speed and, lo and behold, Davis may be expendable, come to think of it.


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