Inbox: What’s OF look like without Rajai?

Regardless of Rajai Davis’ value as a hitter and fielder, he obviously played a huge role in the Indians’ run with his baserunning and stealing. Without Davis, what are the Indians’ options? — Austin M.

Davis played a key role for the Indians last season, especially with the running game. There is the obvious: Davis led the American League with 43 steals and a 10.0 BsR (min. 450 plate appearances). The veteran also helped youngsters like Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez embrace aggressiveness on the basepaths, too. And, of course, Davis’ game-tying homer in Game 7 of the World Series was one of the moments of the year in baseball.

The Indians had interest in re-signing Davis, but the 36-year-old outfielder opted to take a one-year, $6 million deal with the A’s. Adding slugger Edwin Encarnacion to the fold was a heavy investment for the Indians (three years, $60 million guaranteed), making the budget tight for other signings. Cleveland may still be looking at external upgrades, but the outfield could be solved internally.

Bang, boom, bye. On Rajai Davis’ memorable one-year run with the Tribe: https://t.co/kyCenFtg5K

— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) January 4, 2017

Bang, boom, bye. On Rajai Davis’ memorable one-year run with the Tribe: https://t.co/kyCenFtg5K

Cleveland has a sound platoon situation for right field with Lonnie Chisenhall (.784 OPS vs. RHP in 2016) and Brandon Guyer (1.021 OPS vs. LHP in ’16). Tyler Naquin was used mostly as a platoon option in center last year, and he could conceivably share time with switch-hitting Abraham Almonte next season. For left, the Indians are hoping that Michael Brantley will be ready to go after an injury-marred ’16.

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Beyond that group, Cleveland has third baseman Ramirez, who can slide into left field if needed. The Indians will also be taking a close look at prospect Yandy Diaz during Spring Training. He can play third base and corner outfield, too. The Tribe will also head into ’17 knowing that its top prospect, outfielder Bradley Zimmer, may be knocking on the big leagues’ door at some point this summer.

@MLBastian heard Brantley injury is worse than they are leading on. Any truth behind this

— Eric (@lightning2685) January 4, 2017

@MLBastian heard Brantley injury is worse than they are leading on. Any truth behind this

In late December, Jonah Keri of CBS Sports was interviewed on a Toronto radio station and described Brantley’s injury as “horrific” and said he did not think the outfielder would be “a significant contributor” in 2017, citing sources. There …

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