One of the rumors swirling at the Winter Meetings involved the Rangers showing some interest in Wade Davis. There are plenty of solid Tampa Bay Rays starters and I would imagine the Rangers would inquire on them if they are made available.
Many of you have asked about Davis, so let's discuss him. Who is he?
Davis, 26, was drafted in the third round of the 2004 draft by the Rays and made his major league debut in September 2009. Davis, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, was 11-10 with a 4.45 ERA in 29 starts (184 innings) in 2011. The Rays were careful to not push Davis in 2011.
He did not start in the ALDS against Texas in October, instead pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and allowing no runs and one hit. He did start vs. Texas in the 2010 ALDS, allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings in a win at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
In 2010, Davis was 12-10 with a 4.07 ERA with 113 strikeouts and 62 walks.
The Rays believe Davis can be a 200-inning type pitcher, but he has yet to have the breakout season. He's known as a hard worker with a good head.
His contract is certainly an interesting one. He's signed through the 2017 season with a deal that includes three season's worth of team options (signed prior to Opening Day 2010). The breakdown:
2012: $1.5 million
2013: $2.8 million
2014: $4.8 million
2015: $7 million club option
2016: $8 million club option
2017: $10 million club option with $2.5 million buyout
(I'm told there is a buyout on the 2015 year, but I'm not sure what that total is.)
Davis is a young pitcher with upside and someone who could be under team control for a while. But he hasn't put up amazing numbers, either. Does that mean the Rays would part with him without demanding a gaggle of top prospects? You would think. One question the Rangers will likely ask themselves when dealing with any pitching trade option: Is he a better option than the young pitchers in the rotation now? At this point, not really. Derek Holland and Matt Harrison put up better numbers in 2011. The Rangers have veteran Colby Lewis and they want to build up Alexi Ogando's strength and see what Neftali Feliz has as a starter.
Lewis makes $3.25 million in 2012 and is a free agent after that, so the club is always looking for young arms with upside. Davis fits that mold. But right now, he's a No. 3 or No. 4 guy and the Rangers have a fair number of those. The contract seems reasonable, considering you've got the three club options years you can opt out of if you choose.
What do you think of Davis' contract? Is he worth looking into?