OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — After a World Series trip with Cleveland, runnin’ Rajai Davis is returning to the Bay Area with the Oakland Athletics on a $6 million, one-year contract to fill a void in center field.
The A’s announced on Tuesday night that the outfielder and 2016 AL stolen bases leader had reached agreement on a deal to play again for the A’s after spending parts of the 2008-10 seasons with Oakland. General manager David Forst wanted to add depth to the outfield during the offseason, and Davis is coming off a special season with the Indians.
The 36-year-old Davis, who also played for San Francisco in 2007 and into ’08, hit a tying two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of a Game 7 World Series loss to the champion Cubs.
“I am very excited to add a guy like Rajai to our team and to our lineup,” catcher Stephen Vogt said in a text message. “He brings a lot of experience and excitement to our team and clubhouse and will help add to a good atmosphere. It’s exciting to have a guy that could steal 40-plus bases. I have always thought he was tough to play against, so I’m excited to have him on our side now!”
Davis batted .249 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 134 games during his lone season with Cleveland, his sixth major league team. He had 23 doubles and two triples.
He also had an AL-leading 43 stolen bases, becoming the fourth-oldest player to lead the league in steals after Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson in 1998 and Eddie Collins from 1923-24.
Davis can earn an additional $450,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $100,000 for 500, $150,000 for 550 and $200,000 for 600.
Oakland signed right fielder Matt Joyce to an $11 million, two-year contract in November, and Khris Davis is the left fielder.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated infielder Max Muncy for assignment.