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December 11, 2013

Transaction Analysis

Getting Detroit Running Again

by R.J. Anderson and Ben Carsley


DETROIT TIGERS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Agreed to a two-year deal with OF-R Rajai Davis worth around $10 million. [12/10]

When the Tigers traded Doug Fister, the widespread assumption was they'd use the savings to upgrade in left field, likely by signing Shin-Soo Choo. But Choo didn't arrive in Detroit the next day, or the day after that, and the addition of Davis all but closes the door on him ever arriving. Expecting an All-Star center fielder and getting a fourth outfielder instead is a surefire way to dampen excitement but, with careful managing, Davis can help the Tigers in their quest to reach a fourth consecutive ALCS.

Known primarily for his baserunning, Davis averaged 42 stolen bases per season, and succeeded on 80 percent of his attempts during his time in Toronto. Even at age 33, he should serve as a near-elite stolen base threat on a Detroit team that hasn't had one in a while. In 2013, the Tigers were the team least likely to take the extra base (33 percent; next-closest team: 35 percent) or attempt a steal (55 tries; next-closest: 67). But basestealing has been on the outs in Motown for longer than that: the Tigers haven't had a players steal more than 30 bases since Alex Sanchez in 2003. In fact, only the Giants and Cardinals have had fewer 30-plus stolen base efforts over the past 14 seasons than the Tigers.

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Related Content:  Transactions,  Rajai Davis

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