Detroit Tigers reportedly sign Rajai Davis

Well, I hope you like small ball. In what appears to be an answer to the left field dilemma for the Detroit Tigers, they have reportedly agreed to a 2-year deal with former Blue Jays speedster Rajai Davis.

Rajai Davis, Detroit Tigers

Rajai Davis

Davis, 33, spent the last three seasons with Toronto and is best known for his speed.  Davis stole 45 bases in 51 opportunities a season ago and has swiped 216 bags since 2009. As a team in 2013, the Tigers stole just 35 bases in 55 attempts.

Presumably, the Tigers are planning on platooning Davis with Andy Dirks, meaning Dirks would continue to get most of the starts as a weapon against right-handed pitching. Davis has a strong track record against lefties but does very little damage against right-handed pitching. Davis will also be used in pinch-running situations as a threat to steal, something the Tigers have only had with Quintin Berry in recent seasons.

In 2013, Davis hit .319 with a sturdy .383 on-base % v. left-handed pitching but those numbers tumbled all the way down to .228 and .273 against righties. Davis has expressed an interest in being an everyday player but the numbers do not bear that out.

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The signing of Davis marks a continuing trend away from the station-to-station baseball that the Tigers put on display last year. With the additions of Kinsler, Lombardozzi, and Davis, coupled with last year’s acquisition of Jose Iglesias, the Tigers certainly have plenty of speed throughout their lineup now.

As valuable as a guy like Davis can be, don’t be surprised if the Tigers are conducting a mad search for some added home run power at the July 31st trade deadline. With a new manager and a new look roster, 2014 is shaping up to be very interesting in Motown.

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  • isportsChad

    You know what Joe…I have arrived at the point that when the Tigers don’t do what you recommend them to do, I get disappointed with the franchise…and seemingly, that is all they have done since the preseason started…I don’t know if a mash-em-up, station-to-station ball club like the Tigers were can just transition to a small ball club in a few months….I guess we will find out next spring huh?

  • http://isportsweb.com/ Joe White

    Thanks for that Chad. They did sign Nathan, which I wanted.
    But yeah, this is a major philosophical overhaul that they are conducting. Could work. Could go up in flames.

  • Chris Ramthun

    Huh. I am still perplexed by the Fister trade. I expected some sort of splash to follow. Nathan signing was necessary and expected, so I don’t think that’s what I was waiting for.

  • Vince in MN

    Well, didn’t see that coming. Like Chad, I’m not so sure they can make the radical switch from mashers to “piranhas” just like that. The baserunning should be more entertaiing anyway. Probably we’ll see a guy called out for passing the runner in front of him a few times this year; fewer thrown out at the plate though, hopefully.