The Oakland A’s have traded outfielder Rajai Davis to the Boston Red Sox, the team announced after Wednesday’s game. In return, the A’s received Rafael Rincones, an 18-year-old outfielder currently playing in the Dominican Summer League.
Rajai will have the chance to play a bench role for the first-place Red Sox in their pursuit of a championship. His legs make him a great fit for a playoff roster, and he’ll have the chance to steal some important bases down the stretch. Of course, in last year’s postseason he also contributed a dramatic home run off Aroldis Chapman in Game 7 of the World Series, so he’s not unfamiliar with coming through on the biggest stage.
Rajai, 2017: .233/.294/.353, 75 wRC+, 5 HR, 26-of-32 SB, 21.3% Ks, 0.4 WAR*
* average of 0.5 fWAR and 0.3 bWAR
With Rajai out of the picture, CF is now wide open for recent acquisition Boog Powell. The 24-year-old is on fire in his return to the A’s organization, embracing the pesky leadoff role and going 13-for-30 with a homer, four walks, and strong defense. Oakland also hopes to try Chad Pinder out there, reports Joe Stiglich of NBCS. Down in Triple-A, Jaycob Brugman is biding his time after spending a couple months in the bigs this summer.
Rajai was set to become a free agent at the end of the season, so trading him to a contender does both sides a favor — the player gets to go to the postseason, and the team gets something before he leaves. Oakland has now dealt the following veterans since mid-July: Sonny, Doolittle, Madson, Alonso, Rajai, and Rosales. With a week remaining in August, Jed Lowrie stands as one more potential trade candidate, though with an option on his contract he could still theoretically stick around next year.
As for the return, Rincones is just about as far from the big leagues as you can get in affiliated ball, and that’s about right for a month-long rental of a bench player. His stats this year in the Dominican Summer League include a .258/.373/.369 batting line (119 wRC+) and strong BB/K rate, but don’t get too caught up in the numbers at such a low level. He’s a teenage lotto ticket, one who signed out of Venezuela in 2015 for $300K.
Please join us all in wishing Rajai success in Boston!
Rajai, who grew up in Connecticut, says he's looking forward to playing close to home and entering another playoff race.— Jane Lee (@JaneMLB) August 23, 2017