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Rajai Davis Kicks Off Jays’ Off-Season

Posted By Ben Fisher On Nov 17 2010 @ 9:57 pm In Toronto Blue Jays | No Comments

One day after losing out on Atlanta-bound Dan Uggla, Alex Anthopoulos made his first move in what should be an intriguing off-season. The Blue Jays GM acquired speedy outfielder Rajai Davis from the A’s in exchange for potential future closer Trystan Magnuson and fellow relief prospect Daniel Farquhar.

Far be it for me to question Anthopoulos, who has yet to blend a real miss in with his slew of hits during his 13 months at the helm of the club. But it appears – on the surface – to be a puzzling addition of a redundant piece in Davis along with the sacrifice of a possible future contributor in Magnuson.

Sure, Davis enjoyed a nice 2010 season with a .284 average and, most importantly, 50 stolen bases in 61 attempts. However, at 30 years of age, he isn’t part of the Jays’ future and presently seems unnecessary on a team that already employs a speedy outfielder and leadoff hitter in Fred Lewis. Lewis, mind you, may be non-tendered at the start of December and join the growing ranks of Toronto cast-offs.

Assuming Lewis is non-tendered, Davis would likely battle Travis Snider for the starting job in left field and look to assert himself as a table setter for middle-of-the-order guys like Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind. He represents a move towards new manager John Farrell’s balanced offensive approach.

The loss of Magnuson and Farquhar signals Anthopoulos’ laid back frame of mind when it comes to the bullpen. Having already likely lost Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Brian Tallent from last season’s relief corps, he has asserted his belief that cheap late inning options can come to thrive if given the chance and big money bullpen arms are unnecessary. Similarly, he views Magnuson and Farquhar as replaceable within the team’s system.

That may be, but why he saw Davis as a more critical piece to the young Jays remains a mystery for now.

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