Chris Davis thinks the Rangers will probably trade him

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The Rangers are going to start Mitch Moreland at first base in most of their games this season. He posted a decent .833 OPS, nine home runs and 25 RBI over 173 plate appearances last year and played pretty strong defense.

On days that Moreland doesn’t start, it’ll be either Michael Young or Mike Napoli manning the first base bag. Adrian Beltre, of course, will be covering third.

So, where does that leave 24-year-old infielder Chris Davis? A new team, maybe.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, David said Sunday in Rangers camp that he has come to terms with the fact that he might be traded this spring or at some point this summer.

“I have to come to terms with it,” said Davis. “I might not be with the Rangers my whole career or even this season. I understand that people look at me as a guy who has had some success and then struggled, that I might be a guy who they would view as being a ‘change of scenery,’ candidate. I want to be here. But if they move me, I don’t know that it would be a bad thing.”

Davis, 25 in March, has posted really good numbers in the minor leagues. Last season, he hit 14 home runs with a .903 OPS and 80 RBI in 444 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. In 2008, he slugged 23 homers in 77 games between Double-A and Triple-A.

The talent is there, but he’s never been able to put it all together in the big leagues. Maybe that would change in another uniform. He can play both corner infield spots and he is not even eligible for salary arbitration yet. The Rangers should find a good amount of trade interest if they really want to put him out on the market.

Magic Johnson says the Dodgers will win the World Series

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Baseball, as we so often note around here, is unpredictable. Especially when it comes to the playoffs. You can be the best team in the land for six months but a few bad days can end your season once October hits.

In 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season but lost the ALCS to the Yankees, four games to one. In 1906 the Cubs won 116 games in a 152-game season and lost the World Series. In 1954 the Indians won 111 games in a 154-game season and lost the World Series. In 1931 the Philadelphia A’s won 107 games and lost the World Series.

More recently, with the advent of expanded playoffs, the chances for the team with the best record to win the World Series have been pretty dang terrible. Since the beginning of the wild card era, only five times has the team with the game’s best record gone on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. That’s it.

At the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers have baseball’s best record. They’re 71-31 and sit 12 games up in their division. Their playoff chances are almost 100%. The above examples notwithstanding, if you had to make a prediction as to who might win the World Series, it would not be unreasonable to pick the Dodgers. Sure, you’d want to make sure they got Clayton Kershaw back by early September or thereabouts to make it a safer prediction, but it’d be a totally defensible pick. Maybe even the one most people make.

But it’d be the utmost in magical thinking to presume that one could make such a prediction with any degree of certainty, right? The Los Angeles Times, however, passes along some Magical thinking:

Magic Johnson called his shot Thursday night, and he wasn’t shy about it. The Dodgers’ co-owner did not hesitate when he predicted how the team would finish this year.

“The Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year,” Johnson said. “This is our year.”

The headline calls it a “guarantee.” I don’t know if I’d call it that — I think it’s more of a confident prediction — but it is a bold statement whatever you call it.

If I had to pick one team at the moment — and we could assume a healthy Clayton Kershaw — I suppose I would make them my World Series favorites too. And, yes, if I had an ownership interest in the Dodgers, I’d probably say what Johnson said.

But given the example of history, I think “field” would be a much safer bet.

Mariners trade Steve Cishek to the Rays for swingman Erasmo Ramirez.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Erasmo Ramirez.

Cishek had appeared in 23 games this season for Seattle after recovering from major offseason hip surgery. He’s 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, with a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He’s a setup man right now, but he has experience as a closer, saving 25 games for Seattle last year and as many as 39 back when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014.

Ramirez has appeared in 26 games for the Rays and has started eight games. He’s 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 55/16 K/BB ratio in 69.1 innings. This will be his second stint with the Mariners, having played for them from 2012-14.

Sort of a surprising deal given that both Tampa Bay and Seattle are competing for a wild card spot, but needs are needs.