If Indians want Rajai Davis back, it’s going to cost them. A report from Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer revealed that the club has interest in bringing their center fielder back on board in 2017, but are short on cash after inking Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year, $60 million deal this winter.
The 36-year-old outfielder batted .249/.306/.388 with 12 home runs for the Indians in 2016, leading the league with 43 steals and coming just three bases shy of his career-best stolen base mark. His speed and defense should make it easy for him to find a spot on a major league roster, Pluto writes, noting that he thinks the veteran has often been undervalued due to his age and lack of power.
Davis hasn’t attracted a lot of attention so far this offseason, but that doesn’t mean the Indians should sleep on him. Pluto reports that the team has a serviceable center fielder in Abraham Almonte, who is expected to platoon with Tyler Naquin in 2017 if the club can’t find the money to attract Davis. After serving an 80-day suspension for PED use, Almonte slashed .264/.294/.401 with a home run and eight stolen bases in his second season with the Indians.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.