It wasn’t the outfielder everyone thought the Detroit Tigers would sign, as the assumption was Shin-Soo Choo would be playing for Detroit in 2014. Nonetheless, the Tigers made an incredibly smart move to sign Rajai Davis to a reported two-year deal.
The Baltimore Orioles were said to be in on Davis, but the fact that he wanted at least a two-year contract is the reason he signed with Detroit.
Obviously, it’s great news for the Tigers because he’s a major threat on the base paths. Davis doesn’t bring a lot of power to the plate. That’s not why Detroit inked a deal with him. What he does do is get on base and steal like nobody’s business. In fact, he has stolen an average of 43.2 bases per season over the past five years.
The 33-year-old also is a very consistent defensive outfielder who is capable of playing all three positions. It will be interesting to see how exactly the Tigers use him defensively. The thinking right now is that he could platoon with Andy Dirks in left field.
Davis isn’t the type of signing the Tigers are used to seeing in recent years. With that being said, he will bring an element to the game that every championship contender needs. It’s very important to have a player who can frustrate opponents on the base paths, especially when the postseason rolls around. The hope is that he will be able to improve upon his career .316 on-base percentage in order for Detroit to get the full effect of his abilities.
In 2013, the veteran batted .260 with six home runs, 24 RBI, 16 doubles, two triples and 45 stolen bases.