A's agree to one-year deal with OF Rajai Davis

A's agree to one-year deal with OF Rajai Davis

The dawn of a new year has brought the A’s a new center fielder.

Free agent Rajai Davis has agreed to a one-year contract, the A's announced Tuesday evening. The deal is worth $6 million, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CSN California. This will be Davis’ second stint in green and gold. He spent 2008-10 with the A’s, stealing a career-high 50 bases in 2010.

Presumably, he’ll slot in as the everyday center fielder and quite possibly will also be the primary leadoff hitter for manager Bob Melvin. The A’s have needs at both spots.

At age 36, he remains one of the American League’s fastest players and stole a league-high 43 bases last season. But he also hit one of the most memorable homers in recent postseason memory in the World Series with the Indians, lining a game-tying two-run blast off the Cubs’ Aroldis Chapman, though Chicago eventually won the game and the title.

Davis slashed .249/.306/.388 last season. He drew just 33 walks and is no on-base machine, as indicated by his career .314 OBP. But he remains a big threat on the bases, and the A’s couldn’t afford to be too choosy given their need in center and the lack of quality options still available on the free agent market.

They talked to the Kansas City Royals last month about a trade for Jarrod Dyson but that never came to fruition. Davis is an affordable, short-term answer, but the A’s still lack a long-term solution for center field. Given that, they could continue pursuing a younger player for the position via trade.

With Davis added to the current roster makeup, a potential starting outfield could have him in center, flanked by Khris Davis in left and Matt Joyce and/or Mark Canha in right. Khris Davis also figures to get time at DH. Still in the outfield mix are Jake Smolinski and Brett Eibner, who split center field last season after the trades of Billy Burns and Coco Crisp.

To make room for Davis on the 40-man roster, the A's designated infielder Max Muncy for assignment.

News of the agreement between Davis and the A's was first reported by Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan.

Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues


Maxwell speaks about anthem protest, but stays mum on legal issues

When A's catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt during the anthem last season, he was the first MLB player to do so. He knelt before each of each of Oakland's final nine games, in order to protest racial inequality and in response to President Trump's incendiary comments about NFL players kneeling, but ended the season as the only MLB player to kneel during the anthem. 

This season, he won't kneel at all, he told reporters in a statement on the first day of spring training. 

“Obviously, I didn’t take that lightly,” Maxwell told the San Francisco Chronicle prior to the release of his statement.  “That was to bring awareness to a problem and the face we do see it, we do experience and we have empathy for what’s going on. This year I don’t plan on kneeling. … And we’ll move on forward.”

While Maxwell did address his protest during the anthem, he largely did not address his offseason legal issues.

“It’s ongoing, I can’t really discuss details,” he said. “It’s something me and my lawyers are handling.”

On Oct. 28, Maxwell was arrested in Scottsdale after allegedly pointing a gun at a food-delivery person. He pleaded not guilty to felony charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct in November, and is set for a settlement conference on April 13 after failing to reach a plea agreement on Monday, according to the Chronicle. 

If an agreement cannot be reached, Maxwell's trial is set to begin on Aug. 9. 

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson traded to... the Yankees


Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson traded to... the Yankees

The New York Yankees Wednesday announced that they have acquired infielder Russell Wilson from the Texas Rangers in exchange for future considerations.

Wilson, 29, led the Seattle Seahawks to the 2014 Super Bowl championship, defeating the Denver Broncos, 43-8. At age 25, Wilson became the third-youngest quarterback to lead a team to a Super Bowl victory.

He has played the past six seasons (2012-17) with Seattle. A four-time Pro-Bowler, Wilson has completed 1,815-of-2,834 pass attempts (64.0 percent) for 22,176 yards and 161 touchdowns. He has compiled a career starting record of 65-30-1. In 2017, Wilson led the NFL with 34 touchdown passes.

"We've admired Russell's career from afar for quite some time," Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said. "This is a unique opportunity for us to learn from an extraordinary athlete who has reached the pinnacle of his profession. 

"After talking to a number of our players, there is a genuine excitement in having Russell join us for a short time in camp. We are all looking forward to gaining insight into how he leads teammates toward a common goal, prepares on a daily basis for the rigors of his sport, and navigates the successes and failures of a season."

The Richmond, Va., native was originally selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, and was acquired by Texas in the minor league phase of the 2013 Rule 5 Draft. In 2014 and '15, Wilson participated in team workouts at Rangers spring training camp.

In 93 career minor league games between Rookie-level Tri-City (2010) and Single-A Asheville (2011) in Colorado's system, Wilson hit .229/.354/.356 (72-for-315) with 58R, 9 doubles, 8 triples, 5HR, 26RBI and 19SB. In his last 15 games with Asheville in 2011, Wilson hit .302 (16-for-53) with 13R, 5 extra-base hits, 9RBI and 5SB.

A two-sport athlete in college, Wilson graduated from North Carolina State University in 2010. Using his last year of amateur eligibility, Wilson enrolled at the University of Wisconsin and quarterbacked the Badgers to a co-Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl appearance following the 2011 season. 

Wilson is expected to be in Major League camp in March. While he is in Tampa, Wilson will participate in pregame workouts with the club and watch games from the Yankees' dugout.

He will be assigned to the Double-A Trenton roster.

Yankees media services