Cubs Potential Offseason Targets: Rajai Davis
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Let's give credit to Arizona Phil for this suggestion as he pointed out that Rajai Davis qualified for Super Two status and could be available if the A's want to save some money.
Those numbers sure are nothing to get you excited, at least not as a starter. On the other hand, he could make an interesting replacement for Reed Johnson as a center field platoon for Kosuke Fukudome if Fukudome stays in center. His career splits don't show a huge advantage versus lefties quite like Reed Johnson. Davis has a career .735 OPS against lefties vs .717 against righties, while Johnson has an .841 OPS versus lefties and just .707 versus righties. On the other hand, Davis is a game changer in the field. Fangraphs and BP both rate him highly as does the Fan's Scouting Report. Those defensive numbers helped contribute to WAR and WARP1 numbers near 4 for 2009 combined with his surge in hitting.
Of course, when you're a speed demon with little power and pedestrian walk rate, you know his BABIP numbers are gonna skew on the high side and lo and behold he had a .366 last year which will be tough to repeat.
I'd probably pass on any potential trade in this case if I were the Cubs. I know the Cubs wanted to add speed to their roster next year and that elusive true leadoff man, but getting in on Davis (maybe a Fuld for Davis trade?), wouldn't be much more different than trading for Juan Pierre or signing Joey Gathright. Yeah, if he could repeat his offensive numbers from last year, his defense and baserunning would make him worthwhile, but I have a hard time giving any assurances that he could repeat those numbers. As a possible platoon partner, he's gonna fare better than Fukudome versus lefties, but just because he's hitting from the right side I don't know if he gives you that much more over Sam Fuld or brining back Reed Johnson.