CLEVELAND -- The Red Sox struck quickly following an injury to Jackie Bradley Jr. by acquiring veteran center fielder Rajai Davis from the Athletics on Wednesday for Minor League outfielder Rafael Rincones.Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had already been eyeing Davis as a speed option off the
CLEVELAND -- The Red Sox struck quickly following an injury to Jackie Bradley Jr. by acquiring veteran center fielder Rajai Davis from the Athletics on Wednesday for Minor League outfielder Rafael Rincones.
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had already been eyeing Davis as a speed option off the bench come September. Dombrowski intensified his efforts Wednesday and make the acquisition just hours after Bradley went on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
"With Jackie's injury, when we found out [Wednesday] morning, we picked up the phone and called [Athletics general manager] Billy Beane back today and moved it along at a quicker pace, because we had room on the roster for him," Dombrowski said before Wednesday's 6-1 win over the Indians. "We're very happy to have Raj with us. We think he adds a nice dimension to our ballclub."
Davis will arrive in time for Thursday's game against the Indians. To make room on the roster, the Red Sox optioned infielder Deven Marrero back to Triple-A Pawtucket after Wednesday's game. In another roster exchange, right-hander Blaine Boyer will be activated from the disabled list and righty Hector Velazquez was optioned to Pawtucket.
In Davis, the Red Sox get a veteran who smashed a game-tying homer for the Indians in the eighth inning of Game 7 of last year's World Series against Cubs closer Albertin Chapman.
Davis now goes from the last-place Athletics to the American League East-leading Red Sox, meaning there's a chance the can add more postseason heroics. Dombrowski was hopeful that Davis would arrive in time for Thursday night's finale of a four-game series against the Indians.
"I'm extremely excited," Davis said. "The atmosphere is just totally different in the playoffs. I think once you get a taste of that, you want a little bit more. I'm just thankful for this opportunity to come my way."
Of the 73 games Davis started this season, 62 have been in center. The right-handed hitter has a line of .233/.293/.353 with five homers, 18 RBIs and 26 stolen bases.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Davis will be used mostly in center field, particularly until Bradley returns.
"This is a guy with postseason experience, and a speed element that will add to what's here already," Farrell said. "He's a very good fit at a really important time."
The Red Sox don't have a timetable on Bradley's return, but the club fully expects he will play again this season.
The 36-year-old Davis, a native of Norwich, Conn., is a veteran of 1,301 games, in which he is a .264 hitter with 60 homers, 371 RBIs and 391 stolen bases.
"I grew up in Connecticut, so I'm going close to home," said Davis. "Should be fun and I'm looking forward to it. Family is there close by."
In addition to the Indians and Athletics, Davis has played for the Pirates, Giants, Blue Jays and Tigers.
Dombrowski was familiar with Davis from there time together in Detroit, and Farrell managed him in Toronto in 2011-12.
"He's a tremendous individual," said Dombrowski. "I've known Raj and so did John. We think the world of him. Fantastic guy. He's the type of person everyone thinks the world of when they meet him. We know he'll fit in with the ball club well, and can play on a pennant contender, which we hope to complete as we get through the stretch run here. He's been through it."
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. A's reporter Jane Lee contributed to this story.