Detroit Tigers Sign Outfielder Rajai Davis To Two-Year Deal


Sep 18, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Rajai Davis (11) singles in the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. New York defeated Toronto 4-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

After staying out of the water on day one of the Winter Meetings, the Detroit Tigers made a small splash on the morning of day two. According to multiple reports, the Tigers and outfielder Rajai Davis have agreed to terms on a two-year.

Davis was one of the players Grant highlighted yesterday as a cost-effective option to platoon with Andy Dirks. Davis isn’t a great hitter overall (career .268/.316/.377), but his relatively large platoon splits make him a good candidate to platoon against left-handed pitching (career .294/.354/.425 versus left handed pitching). Part of that is a due to an inflated BABIP, but if he’s gaining that by pulling the ball hard to the left side of the infield and using his speed, it might not be completely unsustainable.

Speaking of speed, that’s perhaps the biggest part of Davis’ game. He’s a plus base runner, and has stolen 30 or more bases in each of the last five seasons (while playing only part time). That’s not something Tigers fans are used to seeing — extreme stolen base totals — but Davis is constantly on the move. He instantly becomes the Tigers’ best pinch-running candidate in the late innings.

Defensively, Davis has plus range for a corner outfielder, but his arm is poor and he has graded out slightly below average at the position. Not horribly bad, in all probability, but he’s not going to be saving scores of runs in the outfield.

$4 to $5 million per year is a large offer for a player who figures to factor only as the weak side of a platoon, but he could be worth that money if he’s really as valuable on the base paths as he figures to be.