Davis returns to Oakland on one-year deal

Davis returns to Oakland on one-year deal

The Athletics have reached a one-year deal with free-agent outfielder Rajai Davis to return to the Bay Area, the club announced Tuesday. Davis, who spent last season with the Indians, played for the A's from 2008-10.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A's designated infielder Max Muncy for assignment. Davis, 36, satisfies Oakland's need for a center fielder after he hit .249 with a .306 on-base percentage and a career-high 12 homers and a league-leading 43 stolen bases last year. Davis' eighth-inning homer off Aroldis Chapman of the Cubs sent Game 7 of the World Series into extra innings, though the Cubs eventually won.

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The deal will pay him $6 million, according to Yahoo Sports.

Statcast: Chapman vs. Davis

Davis joins an outfield mix that includes Khris Davis, Jake Smolinski, Brett Eibner and Matt Joyce. Smolinski took over for Billy Burns in center halfway through last season after Burns was traded to the Royals in exchange for Eibner.

Davis batted .287 with 60 doubles, 12 triples, 11 home runs and 119 RBIs in 369 games with the Athletics. Davis also stole 116 bases, which ranks ninth on the Oakland career list. He had his breakthrough season with the A's in '09, when he batted a career-high .305 with 41 stolen bases. Davis added a career-high 50 steals the following season.

Davis' fantasy impact with A's

Davis made his Major League debut with the Pirates in '06. He's played for Pittsburgh (2006-07), San Francisco (2007-08), Oakland (2008-10), Toronto (2011-13), Detroit (2014-15) and Cleveland (2016) in his 11-year career. He is a .267 career hitter with 55 home runs and 353 RBIs in 1,201 games. He also has 365 stolen bases, which ranks fifth among players active in '16.

Muncy batted .186 in 51 games over three stints with Oakland last year. He started 19 games at second base, 13 in right field and one at third base, all in games started by right-handed pitchers. Muncy also hit .251 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs in 64 games with Triple-A Nashville.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
Davis made a notable fantasy impact in 2016, producing a personal-best 12 home runs with an American League-leading 43 stolen bases. Now part of an A's club that lacks obvious center-field alternatives, the speedster is expected to be a regular lineup component despite owning an unimpressive lifetime .660 OPS against right-handers (.780 vs. lefties). Given the scarcity of elite basestealers, the 36-year-old -- who has five career 40-steal campaigns -- will be a desirable commodity in the late rounds of mixed-league drafts.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.