Earlier this evening, we learned that the Red Sox had designated Steve Selsky for assignment in anticipation of another move to acquire an outfielder from outside the organization. There was some speculation about who that could be, and we now have our answer. According to CSN New England’s Evan Drellich, the Red Sox are set to acquire Oakland A’s outfielder Rajai Davis.
Sources: Red Sox to land Rajai Davis. Silence for now because the A’s are currently playing extras. He’s lone man on bench.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 23, 2017
We’ll have more on this move tomorrow, but for now we’ll give a quick insight to what this means for the Red Sox. Davis is sort of the quintessential August acquisition, as he’s not a superstar but someone who can help down the stretch and in particular in October. The righty has provided some average production at the plate in the past, but now in his age-36 season those days are behind him. Now, he provides some decent pop at times but is mostly around for his presence on the bench.
Davis’ primary asset is his speed, and that is what the Red Sox will likely lean on him for the most. He has 26 stolen bases in 100 games this year for Oakland and is coming off a year in which he stole a league-leading 43 bags for the Indians. The Red Sox don’t really have a pinch running option on their bench right now, so Davis will be a welcome addition in that respect. These types of players are often added this time of year, with Quintin Berry and Joey Gathright being recent examples. Defensively, Davis can play all three outfield spots and has moved around freely throughout his career. He’s not great with the glove, but he rates out somewhere around average-to-slightly-below-average at all three spots.
Of course, I have to mention that Davis also hit that massive home run off Aroldis Chapman in Game Seven of last year’s World Series. We’ll keep you updated when more details of the move are revealed.
UPDATE: The deal is official, and the Red Sox are sending minor-league outfielder Rafael Rincones to Oakland. Rincones is an 18-year-old in the Dominican Summer League was signed for $300,000 out of Venezuela in the summer of 2016. He has hit .258/.373/.369 in the DSL this season.