Mets fans shouldn't feel too bad if they don’t know much about Rajai Davis. He’s spent most of his time in the American League playing for the Blue Jays and A’s and has been buried on the depth chart in recent years. But there is one thing that everyone—especially fantasy baseball managers—should know about Davis: He’s one of the best baserunners in baseball.
If that’s not enough information to quench your thirst for all things Rajai, consider this: In 2009 Davis was worth 3.7 fWAR in only 432 plate appearances. Unfortunately, that was also the only season he rated above average offensively, defensively, and on the bases, according to FanGraphs.
The 33-year-old outfielder is now a free agent after a season that saw him go from bench player to starter because of injuries. The speedster managed to steal 45 bases despite only 360 plate appearances, while posting a career high 10.2 BsR (baserunning runs above average).
If utilized correctly, Davis can be an interesting weapon as a fourth or fifth outfielder. He’s not as young or as fast as Billy Hamilton, but the images of Hamilton stealing key bases late in games this past September should still be fresh in everyone’s mind.
Davis made $2.5 million in 2013 and could make even less in 2014. A multi-year deal is almost certainly out of the question, but a guaranteed major league contract might be, too.
Davis would be a nice depth piece for the Mets if they didn’t already have a younger, more versatile, and better defensive version in Eric Young Jr. The one thing Davis could offer the Mets is an effective way to deploy Young, who should also probably be looked at as a pinch-running threat and fourth outfielder.