A’s deal Rajai Davis for minor league outfielder
Oakland (55-72) opened the regular season with 15 players who brought more than three seasons of major league experience. Nine of which have since been jettisoned — including Davis.
This number of moves comes as little surprise, as the A’s appear to have punched their ticket to a third-consecutive last-place finish in the American League West.
Davis, who led the American League in stolen bases (43) last season, was brought back to Oakland — after spending a three-year stint from 2008 to 2010 — to bolster the top of the A’s lineup with a speed factor of which it had been devoid for some time. With 26 steals in 100 games, he matched Billy Burns (2015) for the most by and Athletic in a half-decade — since Coco Crisp stole 39 in 2012.
The center fielder could not have asked for a much worse start to his season, slashing .198/.247/.296 with eight stolen bases through his first 45 games. Over his past 55 games, though, he has found a bit of a groove, slashing .275/.346/.420 with 18 steals since a 4-for-5 night on June 7.
This run of success has no doubt bolstered his value.
The A’s cashed in on that increased value, acquiring 18-year-old outfielder Rafael Rincones.
Rincones, a native of Valencia, Venezuela, is currently in his second season with Boston’s Dominican Summer League affiliate. After posting a .275/.400/.358 slash with one home run, 26 runs scored and six stolen bases over 40 games in his first season of professional baseball, he has slashed .258/.373/.369 with one homer, 38 runs and eight stolen bases in 57 games this season.
Rincones is a 6-foot, 160-pound switch-hitter who brags significantly more success against right-handed hurlers — .301 batting average against righties, .169 verse lefties.
Davis is currently seventh on the A’s all-time stolen base list with 142 successful steals.