Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com is reporting that the Cleveland Indians are discussing a one-year deal along with an option for free agent outfielder Rajai Davis.
Heard Indians are talking about a 1-year deal, including an option, with FA Rajai Davis. Who played 112 games with Detroit last year.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) December 8, 2015
Davis is known as a speedy outfielder who can field all three positions, but is coming off a down year with Detroit in 2015. He notched his lowest stolen base total (18 SB) of his career, playing in only 112 games, while his OBP plummeted to its lowest mark since 2011.
Davis’ speed may have passed him by as he he plays the 2016 season at 35 years old, but he has stumbled across some increased power. In 2015, he matched his career-high with eight HR and posted a career-best SLG at .440. Abraham Almonte is currently penciled in as the starting CF and Michael Brantley — once healthy — will be the everyday LF. However, Davis provides defensive versatility, an element of speed, and underwhelming but improved power.
This comes one day after the Indians were said to expressing intense interest in fellow free agent OF Shane Victorino. Whether none, one, or both of these outfielders are signed, it’s evident that the Indians are interested in adding outfield depth as both insurance for currently-injured Brantley and general depth for a relatively inexperienced outfield.
The Indians may also continue exploring trades for young, MLB-ready outfielders by dipping into their pool of young power pitchers. For now, however, Cleveland appears ready to add some veteran presence to its 2016 outfield.