Indians' Davis Headed To Athletics


Published on January 5 2017 6:19 am
Last Updated on January 5 2017 6:19 am


 Athletics general manager David Forst remembers the exact moment when Rajai Davis hit his World Series-tying home run in Game 7 for Cleveland.

Forst's son, 6-year-old Judah, would not go to sleep: The boy wanted to stay up and watch the game until the end.

"It's one of those moments in World Series history I think everyone will remember," said Forst, who was "begging" his son to go to bed. "The sheer surprise of it. You didn't expect Raj to be the guy to hit a homer."

Even before that big hit in the 8-7, 10-inning loss to the Cubs, Forst had kept track of the former Athletics outfielder once he left town in 2010 -- moving from Toronto to Detroit and then a year later to the Indians.

And after several months of searching for a new center fielder, Forst found one in the familiar Davis.

The 36-year-old -- who led the American League in stolen bases in 2016 -- received a one-year, $6 million contract Tuesday, then spoke about his decision Wednesday.

"It's just the place where I really established myself as a big leaguer and really gained the confidence that I am a big league player," Davis said. "The bottom line is, this is the best fit for my family and myself. This is what we felt was going to be beneficial for us for this year."

He is expected to hit at the top of the order, too.

While Davis has played the two corner outfield spots more regularly the past two years, he is eager to get back in center, where Forst said Davis' defense remains "excellent."

Davis hit a tying, two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning against the champion Cubs. He helped Cleveland become a contender again, as he hopes to do with the A's. Oakland went 69-83 last season to finish with one more victory than in 2015, but the A's were in fifth place and at the bottom of the AL West for the second straight season -- another year of injuries and big-name departures.

Now, Davis is determined to bring experience and a "winning mentality" and help the A's turn things around.