The Detroit Tigers took another step closer to solving their outfield problems with the announcement of a two-year deal with Rajai Davis. Davis is known around baseball as one of the fastest players in the entire league and gives the Tigers something they haven’t had in an extremely long time which is a legitimate base stealer. The versatility Davis offers both as a platoon outfielder and also as a late game pinch runner has been a key element that has been one of the major weak spots on this Tigers team.
Some will argue that instead of spending the money on Davis they should invest it all on a big time left fielder, but the Davis deal is a good one because it only costs the Tigers about $5 million a year for two years. This gives the Tigers another option should the free agent market fall flat and they still have the money to pursue guys like Shin-Soo Choo. Even if the Tigers sign a big name left fielder and Davis is relegated to just a fourth outfield position, his value compared to what the Tigers used to have in Andy Dirks and Don Kelly cannot be overstated. Finally the Tigers have gotten some athleticism and speed available to them.
This move should not be the end of what the Tigers do at the Winter Meetings, but it is an important part of what the Tigers are trying to do which is build a team that has multiple dimensions and does not just rely on hitting the ball over the fence. We have seen in the last few playoffs how that strategy works out so it is essential and crucial that the Tigers continue adding new dimensions to this 2014 team.