The Texas Rangers designated DH Khris Davis for assignment on Tuesday, clearing a spot on the active roster for infielder Eli White, who was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock. Davis, 33, had appeared in just 22 games with the Rangers since being acquired over the offseason as part of the Elvis Andrus trade. In 61 plate appearances, he had hit .157/.262/.333 (66 OPS+) with two home runs.
Those marks a far cry from 2016-18, when Davis homered 133 times and twice received down-ballot consideration for the Most Valuable Player Award.
Davis' inclusion in the Andrus trade was in part to serve as financial ballast. He signed a two-year extension worth $33.5 million early in the 2019 campaign that coincided with his descent. Since the onset of that season, he's hit .212/.291/.374 with just 27 home runs.
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Coincidentally, Andrus has also had a rough stretch to open the season. He entered Tuesday hitting .214/.259/.273 (55 OPS+) in 201 plate appearances. The deal also sent Jonah Heim and Dane Acker to Texas, with Aramís García heading to Oakland.
The Rangers had been alternating between Davis, Willie Calhoun, and the now-injured David Dahl at DH. Davis' banishment has two practical benefits for the Rangers: 1) it gives their three-player bench more defensive versatility; and 2) it creates more playing time for others, like White and Jason Martin, a 25-year-old outfielder who joined the organization on a non-roster deal over the winter.
White, 27 come June 26, appeared in 22 games of his own earlier this season with the Rangers. He hit .127/.200/.164 (4 OPS+) in those contests. He had performed better at Triple-A, batting .343/.450/.537 in 20 games.
The Rangers entered Tuesday with a 23-38 record on the season, the third-worst mark in the majors. Texas is 5 1/2 games behind the Seattle Mariners for fourth in the American League West.