GOODYEAR, Ariz. — The Indians and 2016 World Series hero Rajai Davis are getting reacquainted.
The veteran outfielder was at training camp Saturday morning, with the club announcing shortly after that it had signed Davis to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Davis, 37, declined to comment in the clubhouse before the deal had become official, but plenty of his former Indians teammates were happy to see him, including catcher Yan Gomes, who played with Davis in Toronto in 2012 and has considered him a close friend since.
“He’s a tremendous threat on the bases. He’s an awesome guy in the clubhouse,” Gomes said Saturday. “A lot of people don’t understand the kind of personalities you need to have in the clubhouse for the team to really gel. He’s definitely one of those guys that brings in a great personality. At the end of the day, we’re all gearing up and going to play, and he plays his tail off. Again, he’s an amazing clubhouse guy and I know that’s a huge thing that we look for with our team.
“And he’s a great dresser. If you’ve seen his outfits, that’s something that we definitely look forward to seeing again.”
Davis had a down year with Oakland in 2017, batting .235 with an on-base percentage of .293 and a 0.3 WAR.
During his one season with Cleveland, Davis hit .249 with 12 home runs, 48 RBIs and an American League-leading 43 stolen bases.
But nothing he did with the Indians could top his dramatic game-tying two-run homer off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the World Series.
“I’m pretty sure I was like up two guys after that,” Gomes said, “and we all went berserk, and then after we were all celebrating and everything, I was like, ‘Oh, man, I gotta go get a bat and get on deck or whatever it was.’
“It was one of the craziest celebrating moments I’ve ever (had), even though we ended up losing, it was definitely a highlight.”
Right-hander Cody Anderson threw off the mound Saturday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery prior to the 2017 season.
“I know he was excited,” bullpen coach Scott Atchison said. “I thought he threw the ball well, 15 fastballs, probably 13 strikes. It was coming out well. He’s trying to stay within himself and I thought he did a good job with that.
“It’s exciting that that could be something that could help us out whenever we get to that point. You just try to go through it without having setbacks at this point.”
Anderson, 27, appeared in 34 games (24 starts) for the Indians from 2015-16, posting a 9-8 record and 4.50 ERA. He went 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 15 starts during his rookie season three years ago.
A new ’do
A number of his teammates weighed in on shortstop Francisco Lindor’s haircut. He shaved his curls and tinted a new short cut blonde.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer tweeted pictures of Lindor and Dennis Rodman, while closer Cody Allen said he thought Lindor looked like actor Wesley Snipes from the 1993 movie, “Demolition Man.”
“I like it,” Alonso said. “I told him he looked like (singer) Sisqo. So, I might be walking up (to bat) to the ‘Thong Song,’ just because of Francisco.”
Former first baseman Carlos Santana, who signed a three-year contract with the Phillies worth $60 million, told MLB.com he was willing to trade less average annual value for more years to stay in Cleveland — potentially five years for $75 million — but the Indians were never seriously engaged with him this winter.
- Manager Terry Francona is expected to return to camp today after attending funeral services for his father.
- Position players reported Saturday, with physicals set for today and the first full-squad workout scheduled for Monday.