It’s not official-official, but it’s official enough that I think I can say… uh… officially that Rajai Davis is no longer a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. I suppose that was true as soon as he hit free agency– we knew it was extremely unlikely he was coming back– but now we know where he’ll land and for how much, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet has confirmed that he’ll sign a two year deal with the Detroit Tigers, while Jon Morosi adds that the terms will pay him $9- or $10-million over the two years.

Benny Fresh further adds that it’s a straight deal, with no options.

That’s a pretty good deal for Rajai, even though he won’t be getting the starting job that he coveted, and he’ll definitely be missed here– the CF-capable, lefty-mashing speedster was actually a perfect fourth outfielder and platoon partner for Adam Lind on this roster– but that salary is also, quite literally, ten times more than a league minimum guy like Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar, or Moises Sierra will earn this year, should they assume the club’s fourth outfielder role.

And if the Jays can find a cheap caddy for Lind to fit in elsewhere– like the infield? Well, then they’ll be fine, and for quite a bit less money, too.

Works for all involved then, I guess? OK! I mean, Rajai sure looks happy– but who wouldn’t if they just got handed $10-million to be a platoon outfielder?

So… there’s that.

Comments (55)

  1. Doesn’t this make Sierra the leading candidate to caddy for Lind? Seems like unless they carry Gose, they won’t have a speedster on the bench. I wonder how much value that role has.

  2. Best of luck to him. A great guy.
    Now we just need to find a way to contain him on the bases… if he finds a way to get on.

  3. Gonna miss his speed and hitting vs LHP. Thats about it.

    • im going to miss him because he was always a happy looking guy,

      looked like he had fun as a jay and thats always nice to see

      good luck Rajai

      • Indeed. The bigger question is who is going to take up his barber duties now that he’s gone? Is this the year the Jays start looking like the Sox? Is this team going to be inundated with beards, Colby dreadlocks and ‘fros?

    • He is (and was) a “character guy”, and was thoughtful and polite in every interview I saw him in. The fact that he could single handedly turn around a close game in the late innings makes me a bit sad now he’s gone. I wonder if he could hit RHP if he’d have stuck a bit longer?

  4. While there’s still some debate about whether or not Masahiro Tanaka will be posted, the number two pitcher in Japan – Kenta Maeda – may also be posted.


    Not the same type of talent as Tanaka – called a #4 starter type, 87-93 fastball with good command and a good slider.

    Still, the more starting pitching options that are out there, the better it is for the Jays.

  5. Good luck to Rajai. Enjoyed having him as a Blue Jay.

    • +1

    • He’s a very good pickup for Detroit.
      He can platoon with Dirks in LF and/or use him as a late innings pinch runner.

      According to Dave Camron at Fangraphs,
      he and Ellsbury were the only two players
      in MLB to rack up 10+ runs of value from baserunning.

      For a Tigers team that could not score in the playoffs,
      he brings a much needed speed element to what was a station to station team.

      How much he’ll be missed in Jays land depends on who replaces him.
      But unless Gose makes the team
      or someone with base stealing capability replaces him,
      the Jays risk becoming even more reliant on the HR.
      Being able to generate runs when the HR is on vacation
      is a very important part of being able to win games.

      • Gose hasn’t really shown base stealing ability.

        • 15 steals in 18 attempts in his 2012 callup say otherwise.
          But only 4 for 7 last year.
          On his own vs orders from the bench?
          Farrell vs Gibbons?
          Pitchers paying more attention?
          Who knows. Could be a combo of all three.

    • I wish AA would of traded Davis last year… we could of added some sort of prospect.

  6. I’m mostly interested in seeing his new orange oven mitt.

  7. Thanks for the little league homer memory Rajai.

  8. For all of problems he had tracking in the field, what I’ll most remember Rajai for is making one of the best homer saving catcheds ever attempted at skydome.


  9. This guy was a game winner, say what you will, he came up big when it was needed the most. Good luck rajai.

  10. Gose is the logical replacement, but he can’t hit lefties the same, nor is he as good on the bases. a little sad about this.

  11. unless pillar shows he’s a decent hitter against both sides?

    • I wonder if between Pillar and Gose there’s a decent hitter. I get the sense Pillar is a quick learner but Gose seems very determined to succeed.

  12. I just wish he could get a starting job so we could watch him steal 60+ (maybe even 80??) bases in a season. Speed thrills.

  13. Everyone hates on Rajai, but I’ll miss the guy! His little league homerun, that amazing wall climbing catch, his oven mitt and his energy on the field… I’ll miss it all!

    #1 in stealing bases…and <3s

    • Agree. I wish he could’ve learned how to avoid pitches out of the strike zone from RHP. I bet it might’ve prolonged his stay here.

  14. I think we will miss him during the close games next year. He caused a lot of havoc on the bases and is almost an guarantee to score from seccond with a base hit

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