Posted by: Jeremy | November 18, 2010

Anthopoulos grabs a great pair of legs


Davis stole 50 bases in 2010 -- eight less than Toronto stole as a team

Rajai Davis can run, and that’s good enough for me. Alex Anthopoulos went out and got the Jays their first legitimate speed threat in some time yesterday, sending a pair of pitching prospects to Oakland for Davis, who hit .284 and stole 50 bases in 142 games for the Athletics last season. The 30-year-old Davis, who’s kicked around the majors since breaking in with Pittsburgh in 2004, is likely to start in the outfield and bump Jose Bautista to third, where he’ll play full-time now that Edwin Encarnacion’s taken his gold glove elsewhere (he’s actually landed in Oakland himself, having been claimed off waivers over the weekend).

After up-and-down stays in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Davis was picked up early in 2008 by the A’s and did a pretty, pretty good job establishing himself as a quality player in the three seasons since. He spent much of his first year in Oakland as a fourth outfielder and pinch runner, nabbing 25 bases in 101 games while only getting 196 at-bats. In 2009, he hit .305 and stole 41 bases in 125 games (390 ABs) and had 28 doubles, five homers and 52 RBIs in his first full season as a starter in 2010. The downside to Davis’ game, thus far, has been his plate discipline — he drew just 26 walks last season and had a paltry .320 on-base percentage, which isn’t anything close to what you want from a guy at the top of the order, which is ideally where you want a player with 50-steal speed slotted.

As for the prospects, Oakland picks up righties Trystan Magnuson and Danny Farquhar, both of whom spent 2010 at Double-A New Hampshire. Magnuson, a 25-year-old that was a supplemental first round pick in 2007, went 3-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 46 games and Farquhar, a 23-year-old 10th rounder in 2008, went 4-3 with a 3.52 ERA and 17 saves in 53 appearance. I’m not too informed on either one, but with the pitching depth in the organization, it’s definitely a move worth making.

The deal for Davis helps the Jays shore up a day after seeing Dan Uggla, who was targeted after a 33-homer, 105-RBI season in Florida, end up in Atlanta via trade. Also, Toronto waved goodbye to catcher John Buck yesterday, as he signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Marlins.

So, the wheels are in motion. The Davis trade doesn’t quite make the Jays an instant threat, but a deal involving prospects is a sign Anthopoulos has plans to put a winning team on the field as early as next season. What’s next, Manny Ramirez? He’s down. I’m down. Anybody else down?

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Responses

  1. It’s been an interesting offseason, as the Jays are now apparently in the mix for Justin Upton. I think the Jays have been on just about everyone aside from Cliff Lee.

    We’ve needed someone fast for a long time. Davis definitely fixes that problem, but his on base percentage worries me since that was a huge problem last year.

  2. Good write up, Jeremy. Do you think this means Bautista’s going to play at 3B for sure?

  3. Davis is a solid pick up. At the very worst, he’s a decent 4th OF.

    Justin Upton would be a great pick up for the jays (for any team actually). According to reports, Arizona’s asking price is ridiciously high right now so perhaps he won’t get moved at all (Arizona could be asking for a headliner of Snider + Drabek). He is under contract a very reasonable rate so perhaps these “trade discussions” are nothing more than teams calling Arizona to inquiry on Upton’s availability. Some teams may believe because there is a new gm there, they may be able to pry Upton away. We shall see what happens.

  4. give me now

  5. I like Bautista in right, but if we’re not able to upgrade at third I could live with him shifting down there. I’ll take anything that keeps Adam Lind off first base…

  6. So what is the solution at 1B for 2011?


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