Well, that was… certainly a trade for the Texas Rangers.
After acquiring Khris Davis in a deal that sent longtime Ranger Elvis Andrus to Oakland, Texas felt like they had a great situation on their hands; a power hitting outfielder that was low-cost, high-reward on an expiring contract.
Unfortunately, things panned out very poorly for Khrush. Davis slashed .157/.262/.333 with two home runs during his stint in Texas, and missed the entire month of April with a quad injury.
Elvis Andrus had an abysmal April, slashing .151/.202/.186, along with a .232 xwOBA. He struck out far more than he’s used to, but it seems like he’s starting to find his stride in Oakland, which is great both for him and the team, who surrendered Marcus Semien in free agency only to watch him go on an MVP-campaign tear in Toronto.
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Davis’s departure makes room for young, plucky utility man Eli White, who has more than thrived in his time in Round Rock this year, but struggled mightily at the plate for Texas in the majors, entering a 1-30 slump before being optioned down on May 8.
White being on the roster also allows Willie Calhoun to DH a lot more, which is probably more comfortable for him considering he’s enjoying one of his most productive seasons at the plate so far – although Calhoun has seen his defensive runs saved numbers skyrocket in 2021, so his defensive skills improving gives the Rangers a lot of flexibility.
Jonah Heim, a 25 year old catcher brought over in the Davis trade, has also etched his way into the Rangers’ second catcher slot behind Jose Trevino. He’s combined with Trevino for getting the most strikes called for their pitchers of any catcher duo in the Majors in 2021, and he’s developed a great swing tag for such a young catcher.
The Texas Rangers can easily move forward without Khris Davis holding them back.
The point of all of this is to say that the Rangers at least can get creative with how they move on from Khrush. The risk in taking on Davis was minimal, if anything. The best case scenario would’ve been him providing bottom-of-the-lineup power and run support. There are going to be trades like this throughout the course of this rebuild, so it’s not something fans should feel upset by.
At the end of the day, a 33 year old who is all but a liability at the plate only takes away from a losing, rebuilding team. White taking that spot as a utility guy maybe isn’t the best long term answer, but it gives the Rangers an avenue to explore youth, which is a much safer direction for the team as they continue to slide further into the standings of the American League heading into mid June.