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Rajai Davis agrees to 2-year deal with Tigers, per report

Davis could form a platoon that would give Detroit cheaper production in left field than if they signed Shin-Soo Choo.

Tom Szczerbowski

Free agent outfielder Rajai Davis has agreed to a two-year deal to become a Detroit Tiger, reports Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. Davis will receive about $9 million to $10 million over the course of the contract.

Davis, 33, has spent the past three seasons with the Blue Jays after also spending time with the Pirates, Giants, and Athletics over an eight-year career. He hit .260/.312/.375 over 108 games in 2013, but the speedster also swiped 45 bags over that span and plays strong defense at all three outfield positions. Overall in his time with Toronto, he posted a 668 OPS with 125 steals in 345 games. His best career season at the plate came in 2009 with Oakland, when he hit .305/.360/.423.

Whether this will effect the Tigers' hunt for Shin-Soo Choo remains to be seen. It's possible this signing will end up being a cheaper way to provide better value in right field without having to spend between $125 million and $150 million on a long-term deal. Currently, the team has Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter in center and right field, respectively. Andy Dirks is tentatively penciled in as the starting left fielder, barring any other moves.

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The right-handed Davis and left-handed Dirks could combine to form a platoon in the outfield that would boost production at the position for a fraction of Choo's price. Over his career, Davis has a 779 OPS against southpaws and just a 650 OPS against righties. Dirks, meanwhile, has hit for a 751 OPS against right-handers and a 721 OPS against lefties.

The Tigers could still go after Choo, but this signing gives the team much more leverage in conversations as they can now walk away if the bidding gets too high. Were Choo to still come to Detroit, Davis would slot in as a fourth outfielder able to play all three positions.

However, if Detroit does not sign Choo, they could better allocate funds to future contract extensions for Max Scherzer and Miguel Cabrera. Once left field is settled, the only major improvements the Tigers will need are in the bullpen.

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