The Marlins have agreed to a deal bringing outfielder Jonathan Davis back to the organization, as Davis himself announced on Instagram. Miami outrighted Davis off the 40-man roster at season’s end rather than tender him a contract in arbitration. The team has yet to announce the signing, but it’s a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, per Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extra Base. Davis is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Davis, 31, spent the bulk of the 2023 season with the Marlins organization after coming over in a May trade with the Tigers. He appeared in 34 games and tallied 104 trips to the plate, batting .244/.307/.378 with a pair of homers, four doubles, a triple and a steal in that time. He’s one of the game’s speedier options in the outfield, clocking in at an average sprint speed of 28.9 feet per second, according to Statcast, which places him in the 89th percentile of MLB players.
In parts of six big league seasons, Davis is a .198/.295/.276 hitter. He’s upped his walk rate considerably in recent seasons, however, drawing a free pass in 11.1% of his plate appearances dating back to 2021. Davis is also a lifetime .260/.362/.433 hitter in parts of five Triple-A seasons and is plenty experienced in all three outfield slots. Statcast pegs him as a plus defender in center, where he’s been credited with 11 Outs Above Average in 982 innings.
The Marlins have lefty hitters in center (Jazz Chisholm Jr.) and right field (Jesus Sanchez), with righty-hitting Bryan De La Cruz in left. Switch-hitting utilitymen Xavier Edwards and Vidal Brujan are also in the mix for outfield time, as is right-handed-hitting Peyton Burdick. Davis, another righty bat, doesn’t exactly profile as a platoon option for either Chisholm or Sanchez, as he’s a career .214/.338/.313 hitter even against lefties. However, if he makes the roster, he’d be an option to give either player an occasional breather (ideally against lefties) or rest day at designated hitter, and his speed makes him a viable pinch-running threat or late-game defensive upgrade.