TODAY: The Twins are also interested in Davis, Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer tweets.
YESTERDAY, 11:20pm: The Rangers are also talking with Davis’ camp, tweets Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Texas’ desire to add a right-handed bat is well known, and with Josh Hamilton and Shin-Soo Choo on the outfield corners (both of whom have well-documented platoon issues), it stands to reason that Davis could get some relatively significant at-bats from manager Jeff Banister.
4:29pm: The Indians are discussing a one-year contract with free-agent outfielder Rajai Davis, reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (via Twitter). The pact in question would also contain an option for the 2017 season, according to Hoynes.
Davis, 35, has spent the past two seasons in the AL Central, appearing in 246 games and receiving 864 total plate appearances for the division-rival Tigers. With Detroit, the fleet-footed Davis batted a combined .272/.314/.418 with 16 home runs and 54 stolen bases. Over the course of his career, Davis has been a far more productive bat against left-handed pitching, posting a cumulative .296/.351/.448 triple-slash in parts of 10 Major League seasons.
From a defensive standpoint, Davis has had inconsistent marks throughout his career but is capable of manning all three outfield positions. He has at least 700 innings at all three spots, though the bulk of that time has come in left field and center field. Davis’ collective body of work in center field has received slightly above-average reviews from Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved, while he’s been below average in left field. Having turned 35 in October, it’s possible he’s slowing down a bit, as last season’s 18 stolen bases were the lowest mark of his career.
Cleveland has a well-known need to add some outfield depth, particularly with Michael Brantley likely to miss the first month or even two of the season (assuming no setbacks creep up in his recovery from shoulder surgery). As it stands, Cleveland’s outfield depth chart includes Collin Cowgill, Abraham Almonte and Lonnie Chisenhall, so adding a veteran with a reliable track record seems likely for president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and the rest of the Indians’ front office.