Davis was spotted in Indians camp on Saturday; as 2016 teammate Lonnie Chisenhall put it, “We’re getting the band back together.”
Even the most casual Indians fans will recall his dramatic home run in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series that tied the game and completely took the wind out of the Chicago Cubs’ sales. Progressive Field went crazy, Tom Hamilton went crazy, the Indians bench went crazy, I went crazy, it was crazy. It’s no doubt one of the greatest moments in Indians history, and if things went a bit differently I would personally petition for Davis to have a statue at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
One season removed from that dramatic dinger, 37-year-old Davis still has the speed that would make most 20-year-olds blush. He stole 28 bases last season with the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox, one year after swiping 43 with the Tribe, the third highest total of his career. Unfortunately, his offensive numbers declined even further last season, and his defense continued to slide. In 117 games, he slashed .235/.293/.348 with just five home runs.
There’s never anything wrong with extending a minor league deal to a veteran — especially for a position of need like the Indians have in the outfield — even if it is mostly a nostalgia signing. There’s no guarantee Davis will make any kind of impact on the major-league roster, but he at least has a shot at being the team’s fourth or fifth outfielder out of spring training.